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THE 

GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS 
ROBBERY 



THE 

GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS 

ROBBERY 



A DETECTIVE STORY 



BY 

FRANK PINKERTOM, 

Author of "Cornered at Last," "The Crime of the Midniph: 

Express,'" Etw. 



LONDON 

GFOnCE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limited 

Lkoalway, Lupcate Hill 

GLASGOW, MANCHESTER. ANT) \'l.\V \ii]:\i 



londos : 
bbidbukv, iasew, & co. hmd., printers, whttefrubs 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE CONSPIRATORS— THE FORGED LETTER — THE PLAN. 



In the rear room of a small 
frame building, the front of which 
was occupied as a coal office, located 
on West Lake Street, Chicago, three 
men were seated around a square 
pine table. The curtains of the 
window were not only drawn in- 
side, but the heavy shutters were 
closed on the outside. A blanket 
was nailed over the only door of 
the room, and every thing and every 
action showed that great secrecy 
was a most important factor of the 
assembly. 

The large argand burner of a 
student's lamp filled the small room 
with its white, strong light. The 
table was covered with railroad time- 
tables, maps, bits of paper, on which 
were written two names a great 
number of times, and pens of different 



makes and widths of point were 
scattered amidst the papers. 

One man, a large, powerfully- 
built fellow, deep-chested and long- 
limbed, was occupied in writing, 
again and again, the name of " J. B. 
Barrett." He had covered sheet 
after sheet with the name, looking 
first at a letter before him, but was 
still far from satisfied. " Damn a 
man who will make his ' J's ' in such 
a heathenish way " 

''Try it again, Wittrock,'' said one 
of his companions. 

" Curse you ! " shouted the man 
called Wittrock. " How often must 
I tell you not to call me that name ? 
By God, I'll bore a hole through you 
yet, d'ye mind, now ! " 

" Oh, no harm been done, Cum- 
mings ; no need of you flying in such 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



a stew for nothing. We're all in the 
same box here, eh ? " 

" Well, you be more careful here- 
after," said " Cummings," and again 
he bent to his laborious task of 
forging the name of " J. B. Barrett." 

Nothing was heard tor half-an- 
hour but the scratching of the pen, 
or the muttered curses of Cummings, 
as he was called. 

Suddenly he threw down his pen 
with a laugh of triumph, and holding 
a piece of paper before him, exclaimed: 
" There, lads, there it is ; there's the 
key that will unlock a little mint for 
us." 

Throwing himself back in his chair, 
he drew a cigar from his pocket, and, 
lighting it, listened with great satis- 
faction to the words of praise uttered 
by his companions as they compared 
the forged with the genuine signa- 
ture. 

These three men were on the eve 
of a desperate enterprise. For months 
they had been planning and working 
together, and the time for action was 
rapidly approaching. 

The one called " Cummings," the 
leader, was apparently the youngest 
one of the three. There was nothing 



in his face to denote the criminal. 
A stranger looking at him would 
imagine him to be a good-natured, 
jovial chap, a little shrewd perhaps, 
but fond of a good dinner, a good 
drink, a good cigar, and nothing else. 

One of his colleagues, whom he 
called " Roe," evidently an alias, was 
smaller in size, but had a determined 
expression on his face, that showed 
him to be a man who would take a 
desperate chance if necessary. 

The third man, called sometimes 
Weaver, and sometimes Williams, 
was the smallest one of the conspira- 
tors, and also the eldest. His frame, 
though small, was compact and mus- 
cular, but his face lacked both the 
determination of Roe and the frank, 
open expression of Cummings. 

After scrutinising the forgery for a 
time, Roe returned it to Cummings, 
and said, " Jim, who has the run out 
on the 'Frisco when you make the 
plant ? " 

" A fellow named Fotheringham, 
a big chap, too. I was going to lay 
for the other messenger, Hart, who is 
a small man, and could be easily 
handled, but he has the day run 
now." 



THE CONSPIRATORS. 



" This Fotheringham will have to 
be a dandy if he can tell whether 
Barrett has written this or not, eh, 
Jim ? " 

" Aye, that he will. Let me once 
get in that car, and if the letter don't 
work, I'll give him a taste of the 
barker." 

" Xo shooting, Jim, no shooting. 
I swear to God I'll back out if you 
spill a drop of blood." 

Jim's eyes glittered, and he hissed 
between his teeth : 

" You back out, Roe, and you'll 
see some shooting." 

Roe laughed a nervous laugh, and 
said, as he pushed some blank letter- 
heads toward Cummings, " Who's 
goin' to back out ? Only I don't like 
the idea of shooting a man, even to 
get the plunder. Here's the Adams 
Express letter-heads I got to-day. 
Try your hand on the letter. 

Cummings, somewhat pacified, 
with careful and laborious strokes 
of the pen, wrote as follows : 
"Springfield, Mo., October 24th, '86. 
Mkssknger, Train No. 3, St. L. & 
St. F. Rte : 

" Dr. Sir : You will let the 
bearer, John Bronson, ride in your 



car to Peirce, and give him all the 
instructions that you can. — Yours, 
"J. B. Barrett, R.A." 

" Hit it the first time. Look at 
that Roe ; cast your eye on that 
elegant bit of literature, Weaver," 
and Cummings, greatly excited, 
paced up and down the room, whist- 
ling, and indulging in other signs of 
huge gratification. 

" Well done, Jirn, well done. Now 
write the other one, and we'll go and 
liquor up." 

Again Cummings picked up his 
facile pen, and was soon successful in 
writing the following letter, pur- 
porting to be from this same J. B. 
Barrett. 

"Springfield, Mo., Oct. 21, '86. 
" John Bronson, Esq., St. Louis, Mo. 

" Dr. Sir : Come at once to Peirce 
City by train No. 3, leaving St. 
Louis 8.25 p.m. Inclosed find note 
to messenger on the train, which 
you can use for a pass in case you 
see Mr. Damsel in time. Agent at 
Peirce City will instruct you furthei. 
—Respectfully, J. B. Barrett, R.A." 

Jim drew a long, deep sigh of re- 
lief as he muttered : 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



" Half the work is done ; half the 
work is done." 

Drawing the railroad map of the 
Chicago and Alton road towards him, 
he put the pen point on St. Louis, 
and slowly following the St. L. & S. 
F. Division, paused at Kirkwood. 

" Roe, here's the place I shall 
tackle this messenger. It is rather 
close to St. Louis, but it's down 
grade, and the train will be making 
fast time. She stops at Pacific — 
here, and we will jump the train 
there, strike for the river, and paddle 
down to the K. & S. W You must 
jump on at the crossing near the 
limits, plug the bell cord so the 
damned messenger can't pull the 
rope on me, and I will have him foul." 

Roe listened attentively to these 
instructions, nodding his head several 
times to express approval, and said: 

" When will we go down ? " 

Jim Cummings, looking at the 
time-table, answered : 

" This is — what date is this. 
Weaver ? " 

"October nth." 



" Two weeks from to-day will be 
the 25th. That is on — let's see, that 
is Tuesday '' 

" Two weeks from to-day, Roe, you 
will have to take the train at St. 
Louis ; get your ticket to Kirkwood. 
I see by this time-table that No. 3 
does stop there. When you get off, 
run ahead, plug the bell-cord, and I 
will wait till she gets up speed after 
leaving Kirkwood before I draw my 
deposit." 

Thus did these three men plan a 
robbery that was to mulct the Adams 
Express Company of $100,000, baffle 
the renowned Pinkertons for weeks, 
and excite universal admiration for 
its boldness, skill, and completeness. 

The papers on which Cummings 
had exercised his skill were torn into 
little bits, the time-tables and maps 
were folded and placed in coat 
pockets, the lamp extinguished, and 
three men were soon strolling down 
Lake-street as calmly as if they had 
no other object than to saunter into 
their favourite bar-room, and toss off 
a social drink or two. 



CHAPTER II. 



the success of the letters — the attack — the robbers — 

the; escape. 



The Union depot at St. Louis was 
ablaze with lights. The long Kansas 
City train was standing, all made up, 
the engine coupled on, and almost 
ready to pull out. Belated passengers 
were rushing frantically from the 
ticket window to the baggage-room, 
and then to the train, when a man, 
wearing side whiskers, and carrying a 
small valise, parted from his com- 
panion at the entrance to the dep6t, 
and, after buying a ticket to Kirk- 
wood, entered the smoking car. His 
companion, a tall, well-built man, 
having a smooth face, and a very 
erect carriage, walked with a business- 
like step down the platform, until he 
reached the express car. Tossing the 
valise which he carried into the car, 
he climbed in himself with the aid 
of the hand-rail on the side of the 
door, and, as the messenger came 



towards him, he held out his hand, 
saying : 

" Is this Mr. Fotheringham ? " 

" Yes, that's my name." 

"I have a letter from Mr. Barrett 
for you," and taking it from his 
pocket, he handed it to the messenger. 

Fotheringham read the letter care- 
fully, and placing it in his pocket, said : 

" Going to get a job, eh ? " 

"Yes, the old man said he would 
give me a show, and as soon as there 
was a regular run open, he would let 
me have it." 

"Well, I'm pretty busy now ; make 
yourself comfortable until we pull 
out, and then I'll post you up as best 
I can, Mr. Bronson." 

Mr. " Bronson " pulled off his over- 
coat, and, seating himself in a chair, 
glanced around the car. 

In one end packages, crates, butter, 



10 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



2f-cases, and parts of machinery 
were piled up. At the other end a 
small iron safe was lying. As it 
caught Branson's eye an expression 
came over his face, which, if Fother- 
ingham had seen, would have saved 
him a vast amount of trouble. But 
the messenger, too busy to notice his 
visitor, paid him no attention, and in 
a moment Bronson was puffing his 
cigar with a nonchalant air, that 
would disarm any suspicions which 
the messenger might have enter- 
tained ; but he had none, as it was a 
common practice -to send new men 
over his run, that he might " break 
them in." 

The train had pulled out, and 
after passing the city limits, was 
flying through the suburbs at full 
speed. 

Fotheringham, seated in front of 
his safe, with his way-bills on his lap, 
was checking them off as Bronson 
called off each item of freight in the 
car. 

The long shriek of the whistle and 
the jerking of the car, caused by the 
tightening of the air-brake on the 
wheels, showed the train to be 
approaching a station. 



" This is Kirkwood," said Fother- 
ingham ; "nothing for them to-night." 

The train was almost at a stand- 
still, when Bronson, saying " What 
sort of a place is it ? " threw back the 
door and peered out into the dark. 

As he did so a man passed swiftly 
by, and in passing glanced into the 
car. As Bronson looked, he saw it 
was the same man that had bought a 
ticket for Kirkwood, and had ridden 
in the smoker. 

The train moved on. Bronson 
shut the door and buttoned his coat. 
Fotheringham, still busy on his way- 
bills, was whistling to himself, and 
sitting with his back to his fellow- 
passenger. 

Some unusual noise in the front 
end of the car caught his ear, and 
raising his head, he exclaimed : 

" What's that ? " 

The answer came, not from the 
front of the car, but from behind. 

A strong muscular hand was placed 
on his neck. A brawny arm was 
thrown around his chest, and lifted 
from the chair, he was thrown 
violently to the floor of the car. 

In a flash he realised his position. 
With an almost superhuman effort 



THE ESCAPE. 



ii 



he threw Bronson from him, and 
reaching around felt for his revolver. 
It was gone, and thrown to the other 
end of the car. 

Little did the passengers on the 
train know of the stirring drama 
which was being enacted in the car 
before them. Little did they think, 
as they leaned back in their comfort- 
able seats, of the terrific struggle 
which was then taking place. On 
one hand it was a struggle for 
$100,000 ; on the other for reputa- 
tion, for honour, perhaps for life. 

Fotheringham, strong as he was 
(for he was large of frame, and 
muscular), was no match for his 
assailant. He struggled manfully, 
but was hurled again to the floor, 
and as he looked up, saw the cold 
barrel of a 32-calibre pointed at his 
head. Bronson's face, distorted with 
passion and stern With the fight, 
glared down at him, as he hissed 
through his teeth : 

"Make a sound, and you are a dead 
man.'' 

The messenger, seeing all was lost, 
lay passive upon the floor. The 
robber, whipping out a long, strong, 
silk handkerchief, tied his hands be- 



hind his back, and making a double- 
knotted gag of Fotheringham's hand- 
kerchief, gagged him. Searching the 
car he discovered a shawl-strap, with 
which he tied the messenger's feet, 
and thus had him powerless as a log. 
Then, and not till then, did he speak 
aloud. 

" Done, and well done, too." 
The flush faded from his face, his 
eye became sullen, and drawing the 
messenger's chair to him he sat down. 
As he gazed at his discomfited 
prisoner an expression of intense 
relief came over his features. His 
forged letters had proved successful, 
his only formidable obstacle between 
himself and his anticipated booty lay 
stretched at his feet, helpless and 
harmless. The nature of the car pre- 
vented any interruption from the 
ends, as the only entrance was 
through the side doors, and he had 
all night before him to escape. 

Now for the plunder. The key to 
the safe was in Fotheringham's 
pocket. It took but a second to 
secure it, and but another second to 
use it in unlocking the strong box. 
The messenger, unable to prevent 
this in any way, looked on in intense 



12 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY, 



mental agony. He saw that he would 
be suspected as an accomplice. The 
mere fact that one man could disarm, 
bind, and gag him, would be used as 
a suspicious circumstance against 
him. Although he did not know 
the exact sum of money in the safe, 
he was aware that it was of a very 
considerable amount, and he fairly 
writhed in his agony of mind. In 
an instant Cummings (or, as he had 
been called by the messenger, 
Bronson) was on his feet, revolver in 
hand, and again the cruel, murderous 
expression dwelt on his face, as he 
exclaimed : 

" Lie still, damn you, lie still ! If 
you attempt to create an alarm I'll 
fill you so full of lead that some 
tenderfoot will locate you for a 
mineral claim. D'ye understand ? " 

After this facetious threat he paid 
no further attention to the messenger. 

Emptying his valise of its contents 
of underclothing and linen, he stuffed 
it full of the packages of currency 
which the safe contained. 

One package, containing $30,000, 
from the Continental Bank of St. 
Louis, was consigned to the American 
National Bank of Kansas City. 



Another large package held $12,000, 
from the Merchants' National Bank 
of St. Louis for the Merchants' Bank 
of Forth Smith, Arkansas, and 
various other packages, amounting 
altogether to $53,000. 

With wonderful sang-froid, Cum- 
mings stuffed this valuable booty in 
his valise, and then proceeded to open 
the bags containing coin. His keen 
knife-blade ripped bag after bag, but 
finding it all silver, he desisted, and 
turning to Fotheringham, demanded : 

" Any gold aboard ? " 

Fotheringham shook his head in 
reply. 

" Does that mean there is none, or 
you don't know ? " 

Again the messenger shook his 
head. 

" Well, I reckon you're right ; all 
silver, too heavy, and don't amount 
to much." 

As he was talking, the whistle of 
the engine suddenly sounded two 
short notes, and the air-brakes 
were applied. 

The train stopped, and the noise of 
men walking on the gravel was 
heard. 

As Fotheringham lay there, his. 



THE ESCAPE. 



'3 



ears strained to catch every sound, 
and hoping for the help that never 
came, his heart gave a joyful throb, 
as someone pounded noisily on the 
door. Almost at the same instant 
he felt the cold muzzle of a revolver 
against his head, and the ominous 
" click, click ' : was more eloquent 
than threats or words could be. 

The pounding ceased, and in a 
short time the train moved on again. 

Apparently not satisfied that the 
messenger was bound safe and fast, 
Cummings took the companion strap 
to the one which pinioned the feet 
of his victim, and passing it around 
his neck, fastened it to the handle of 
the safe in such a way that any extra 
exertion on Fotheringham's part 
would pull the safe over and choke him. 

Opening the car door, he threw 
away the clothing which he had 
taken from his valise. 

Returning to the messenger, he 
stooped over him, and took from his 
pocket the forged letter with which 
he gained entrance to the car. 

Fotheringham tried to speak, but 
the gag permitted nothing but a 
rattling sound to escape. 

" I know Avhat you want, young 



fellow. You want this loiter to 
prove that you had som~ sort of 
authority to let me ride. Sorry I 
can't accommodate you, my son, but 
those devilish Pinkertons will be 
after me in twenty-four hours, and 
this letter would be just meat to 
them. I'll fix you all right, though. 
My name's Cummings, Jim Cum- 
mings, and I'll write a letter to the 
St. Louis Globe- Democrat that will 
clear you. Honest to God, I will. 
You've been pretty generous to- 
night ; given me lots of swag, and 
I'll never go back on you. Give my 
love to Billy Pinkerton when you 
see him. Tell him Jim Cummings 
did this job." 

As he uttered these words the 
train commenced slacking up, and as 
it stopped, Cummings, opening the 
door, with his valuable valise, leaped 
to the ground, closed the door behind 
him, the darkness closed around him, 
and he was gone. 

Inside the car a rifled safe, a bound 
and gagged messenger, and the 
Adams Express Company was poorer 
by $100,000 than it was when the 
'Frisco train pulled out of the depot 
the evening before. 



IJL 



CHAPTER HI. 



PINKERTON TO THE RESCUE. 



The next 1 day the country knew of 

the robbery. Newspapers in every 

city had huge head-lines, telling the 

story in the most graphic style. 

JESSE JAMES OUTDONE! 

The Adams Express Company 

ROBBED OF $100,000 ! 

THE EXPRESS MESSENGER FOUND 
GAGGED AND BOUND TO HIS OWN 
SAFE — THE ROBBER ESCAPES — ABSO- 
LUTELY NO CLUE — 

PINKERTON TO THE RESCUE ! 

Mr. Damsel, the superintendent of 
the St. Louis branch of the Adams 
Express Company, was pacing 
anxiously up and down his private 
office. Fotheringham was relating 
his exciting experience, which a 
stenographer immediately took down 
in shorthand. At frequent intervals 
Mr. Damsel would ask a searching 
question, to which the messenger 
replied in a straightforward manner 



and without hesitation. It was a 
trying ordeal to him. Innocent as 
he was, his own testimony was against 
him. He knew it and felt it, but 
nothing that he could do or say 
would lighten the weight of the 
damaging evidence. He could but 
tell the facts and await developments. 
When he was through Mr. Damsel 
left him in the office, and imme- 
diately telegraphed to every station 
between Pacific and St. Louis, to look 
for the linen and underclothing 
which the robbers had thrown from 
the car. The wires were working in 
all directions, giving a full descrip- 
tion of Cummings, and such other 
information as would lead to his 
discovery. 

Local detectives were closeted with 
Mr. Damsel all day, but so shrewdly 
and cunningly had the express robber 



PINKERTON Tu 'HIE RESCUE. 



IS 



covered his tracks, that nothing but 
the bare description of the man could 
be used as a clue. 

Fotheringham was put through 
the " sweating process " time and 
again, but though he gave the most 
minute and detailed account of the 
affair, the detectives could find 
nothing to help them. 

That Fotheringham " stood in " 
with the robber was the universal 
theory. The story of the letter and 
order from Air. Barrett was received 
with derision and suspicion. 

Air. Damsel himself was almost 
confident that his employe had a 
hand in the robbery. It was a long 
and anxious day, and as it wore along 
and no new developments turned 
up, Mr. Damsel became more anxious 
and troubled : $100,000 is a large 
sum, and the Adams Express Com- 
pany had a reputation at stake. 
What was to be done ? 

Almost instantly the answer came : 
" Telegraph for Pinkerton." 

The telegram was sent, and when 
William Pinkerton wired back that 
he would come at once, Mr. Damsel 
felt his load of responsibility begin 
to grow lighter, and he waited 



impatiently for the morning- to 
come. 

The next morning about 10 o'clock 
Mr. Damsel received a note, signed 
" Pinkerton," requesting him to call 
at Room 84 of the Southern Hotel. 
He went at once. A pleasant-faced 
gentleman, with a heavy moustache 
and keen eyes, greeted him, and Mr. 
Damsel was shaking hands with the 
famous detective, on whose shoulders 
had fallen the mantle of his father 
Allan Pinkerton— probably the finest 
detective the world has ever seen. 

Mr. Damsel had his stenographer's 
notes, which had been transcribed on 
the type-writer, and Mr. Pinkerton 
carefully and slowly read every word. 

" What sort of a man is this 
Fotheringham ? " 

" He is a large, well-built, and, I 
should say, muscular young fellow. 
Has always been reliable before, and 
has been with us some years." 

" Has he ever been arrested be- 
fore ? " 

" He says twice. Once for shoot- 
ing off a gun on Sunday, and again 
for knocking a man down for insult- 
ing a lady." 

" You think he is guilty-— that is, 



i6 



the great Adams Li: press robbery. 



you think he had a hand in the 
robbery ? " 

" Mr. Pinkerton, I regret to say I 
do. It doesn't seem probable that a 
strorj, hearty man would allow 
another man to disarm him, gag him, 
tie hiin hand and foot, get away with 
liooooo, and all that, without a des- 
perate struggle, and he hasn't the 
sign of a scratch or bruise on him." 

" N-n-no, it doesn't. Still, it could 
be done. You have him under arrest, 
then ? " 

" Not exactly. He is in my office 
now, and apparently has no thought 
of trying to escape." 

" Well, Mr. Damsel, I am inclined 
to think that this man Fotheringham 
knows no more of this robbery than 
he has told you. If he is in collusion 
with the robber or robbers- for I 
think that more than one had to do 
with it — he would have made up a 
story in which two or more had 
attacked him. He would have had a 
cut in the arm, a bruised head, or 
some such corroborating testimony to 
show. The fact that he was held up 
by a single man goes a good way, in 
my judgment, to prove him innocent 
of anv crirwnal connection with the 



robbery. We must look elsewhere 
for the culprits," 

" Had you not better see Fother- 
ingham ? " 

" Of course I intend doing that. 
Did you secure the clothing which 
this so-called Cummings threw out 
of the train ? " 

" Telegrams have been sent out, 
and I hope to have it sent in by 
to-morrow." 

" That is good — we may find some- 
thing which we can grasp. The 
public generally have an idea that a 
detective can make something out of 
nothing, that the merest film of a 
clue is all that is necessary with 
which to build up a strong substantial 
edifice of facts. It is only the 
Messieurs La Coqs and ' Old Sleuths ' 
of books and illustrated weeklies that 
are possessed with the second sight, 
and can 'hunt down the shrewdest 
criminals, without being bound to 
such pretty things as clues, circum- 
stantial evidence, or witnesses. We 
American detectives can generally 
make 4 by putting 2 and 2 together, 
but we must have a starting point ; 
and an old shirt, or a pair of 
stockings, such as this robber threw 



PINKERTON TO HIE RESCUE. 



17 



away, may contain just what we need." 
A knock on the door, and an 
employe of the office entered. 

" Mr. Damsel, the entire road has 
been searched, and no trace of the 
clothing has been found." 

" That's bad," said Mr. Pinkerton ; 
" we should have found that." 

Mr. Damsel bade the employe to 
return to the office, and turning to 
Mr. Pinkerton, said : 

" The case is in your hands. Do 
what you want ; if any man can run 
that Cummings down, you can.'' 



" Well, I'll take it. I should advise 
you first to have Fotheringham ar- 
rested as an accomplice. While I do 
not think he is one, he may be ; at 
any rate it will lead the principals in 
the case to believe that we are on the 
wrong track, but I must confess there 
don't seem to be any track at all, 
wrong or right." 

" I will do that. I will swear out 
a warrant to-day against him." 

Mr. Damsel took his leave, and 
that night Fotheringham slept be- 
hind iron bars. 



i& 



CHAPTER Iv 



THE DETECTIVE AND THE MESSENGER. 



After Mr. Damsel had left the 
hotel, Mr. Pinkerton sat in deep 
thought. He had carefully re-read 
Fotheringham's statement, but could 
find nothing that could be put out 
as a tracer ; no little straw to tell 
which way the wind was blowing. 

" Cummings, Cummings, Jim Cum- 
mings ! By George ! that can't be the 
Jim Cummings that used to flock with 
the Jesse James gang ! That Cum- 
mings was a grey-haired man, while 
this Cummings is young, about 26 
years old. Besides, he is much larger 
than Jesse James' Jim Cummings. 
That name is evidently assumed. 
This statement says he was dressed 
in a good suit of clothes, and wore a 
very flashy cravat. Furthermore, he 
bragged a good deal about what he 
would do with the money. Also, that 
he would write a letter to the St. 



Louis Globe-Democrat exonerating 
the messenger. Well, a man who 
will brag like that, and wears flashy 
articles of neck-wear, is just the man 
that will talk too much, or make some 
bad break. If he writes that letter 
he's a goner. There will be some- 
thing in it that will give me a hold. 
The paper, the ink, the handwriting, 
the place and time it was mailed — 
something that will give him away. 
I must see this messenger, and I 
must see him here, alone. He may 
be able to give me a little glimmer 
of light." 

To think with " Billy " Pinkerton 
was to act. 

He pressed the annunciator button, 
and sitting down, wrote a short note 
to Mr. Damsel, requesting him to 
bring Fotheringham with him to his 
room. 



THE DETECTll'K AND THE MESSENGER. 



19 



The bell-boy who answered the call 
bore the note away with him, and in 
a short time Mr Pinkerton, looking 
out of his window, saw Mr. Damsel in 
his buggy drive up to the hotel, ac- 
companied by a young man, whom 
Mr. Pinkerton recognised from the 
description given him as the un- 
fortunate Fotheringham, who had 
evidently, as yet, not been arrested. 

It took but a few moments for Mr. 
Damsel to reach Room 84, and after 
introducing Fotheringham to the de- 
tective, left him there. 

Fotheringham wore a worried and 
hunted look. The black rings under 
his eyes told of loss of sleep, and his 
whole demeanour was that of a dis- 
couraged .person. Still he bore the 
keen scrutiny of the detective with- 
out flinching, and looking him 
squarely in the eye, i.aid : 

" Mr. Pinkerton, don't ask me to 
repeat my story again. I have told it 
time after time. I have been cross- 
questioned and turned and twisted 
until I almost believe I committed 
the robbery myself, tied my own 
hands and feet, put the gag in my 
own mouth, and hid the money in 
some place." 



Mr. Pinkerton did not answer him, 
but gazing at him with those sharp, 
far-seeing eyes which had ferreted out 
so many crimes, and had made so 
many criminals tremble, took in every 
detail of Fotheringham's features, as 
if reading his very soul. Fothering- 
ham leaned back, closed his eyes 
wearily, as if it were a matter of the 
smallest consequence what might 
occur, and remained in that position 
until Mr. Pinkerton spoke. 

" Mr. Fotheringham, I don't believe 
you had anything to do with the 
robbery, except being robbed." 

" Thank God for those words, Mr. 
Pinkerton ! " exclaimed the messenger 
in broken tones, the tears welling to 
his eyes. '' That's the first bit of com- 
fort I have had since the dastardly 
villain first knocked me down." 

" Can you not give me some pecu- 
liarity which you noticed about this 
Cummings ? How did he talk ? 

" Slowly, with a very pleasant 
voice." 

" Did he have any marks about 
him — any scars ? " 

Fotheringham sat in deep thoughc 
for a while. 

"He had a triangular gold filling 



20 



TUB GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



on one of his front teeth, and he had 
a way of hanging his head a little to 
one side as if he were deaf, but I did 
not see any scars, excepting a bit of 
court-plaister on one of the fingers of 
his right hand." 

"Was he disguised at all ? " 

" Not a bit ; at least, I could see no 
disguise on him." 

" How did he walk ? " 

" Very erect ; and yet I noticed he 
limped a little, as if he had a sore 
foot." 

" I see by this report," taking up 
the papers Mr. Damsel had left. " that 
you have given a very close and full 
description of his appearance, but that 
amounts to little. Disguises are easy, 
and the mere changing of clothing 
will effect a great difference." 

" I am positive, from his features, 
that he was a hard drinker. He had 
been drinking before he came to the 
car, as I smelled it on his breath." 

" Well, Mr. Fotheringham, I will 
not detain you any longer. If you 
are innocent, you know you have 
nothing to fear." 

" Except the disgrace of being- 
arrested." 

" Possibly," said Mr. Pjnkerton, 



shortly, and bowing his visitor out 
he pondered long and deeply over the 
case ; but he felt he was groping in 
the dark, for the robber had appa- 
rently left no trace behind him. He 
had appeared on the scene, done his 
work, and the dark shadows of the 
night had swallowed him up, and Mr. 
Pinkerton, for the time, was com- 
pletely baffled. 

" If he would only write that 
letter," he muttered, "and I believe 
he will * 

A tap at the door followed those 
words, and two men entered — both 
Pinkerton detectives. 

One of them carried a bundle in his 
arms. 

As Mr. Pinkerton caught sight of it, 
his face lightened up. 

" Ah ! You did get it ? " 

" Yes ; found them in a ditch the 
other side of Kirkwood." 

Mr. Pinkerton laughed, and taking 
the bundle said : 

" Mr. Damsel said they could not 
be found ; but I knew you, Chip. 
It was a good move on your part to 
go after these clothes without waiting 
for orders. You are starting in well, 
my boy, and if you have the making 



THE DETECTIVE AND THE MESSENGER. 



21 



of a detective in you, this case will 
bring it out." 

Chip blushed. Such words of praise 
from his superior were worth working 
for. The youngest man in the force, 
he had his spurs to win, and the 
approbation of his chief was reward 
enough. 

The bundle was untied, and dis- 
closed a shirt, a pair of drawers, socks, 
and a dirty handkerchief. As the 
clothing fell on the floor, the odour of 
some sort of liniment filled the room, 
and on the leg of the drawers, below 
the knee, a stain was seen. Examin- 
ing more closely, a little clotted blood 
was seen. The stain extended half 
way around the leg, and showed that 
the cut was quite an extensive one. 

'' No wonder he limped," said Mr. 
Pinkerton, as he dropped the drawers 
and picked up the handkerchief. 

The handkerchief, a common linen 
one, had evidently been used as a 
bandage, for it was stained with the 
liniment, and covered with blood 
clots. In one corner had been written 
a name, but the only letters now 
readable were '' W — r — k." 

This was placed on the table and 
the shirt carefully examined. 



Nothing, not even the maker's 
name, could be seen. It was a cheap 
shirt, such as could be bought at any 
store which labels everything be- 
longing to a man as " Gents' Fur- 
nishing." The socks were very com- 
mon, and like thousands of similar 
socks. 

" Not much of a find, Chip ; the 
letters on the handkerchief can be 
found in a hundred different names ; 
a sore knee is covered by a pair of 
trousers, and one out of every ten 
men you meet limps." 

The other detective, who had all 
this time been silent, now laid some 
Adams Express letter-heads on the 
table. On these were written " J. B. 
Barrett" in all forms of chirography ; 
several sheets were covered with 
the name. 

" Where did you get these ?" 

" Out of Fotheringham's trunk, in 
his room." 

" By Jove, what a consummate 
actor that man is ! Do you know, 
boys, up to this minute I firmly 
believed that messenger was inno- 
cent. I have been sold like an ordi- 
nary fool." And Mr. Pinkerton looked 
at the tell-tale papers admiringly, 



2S 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



for, although he felt a trifle chagrined 
at being taken in so nicely, he could 
not but pay tribute to the man who 

did it, for the man that could get the j 

I 
better of '' Billy" Pinkerton must j 

be one of extraordinary ability. 

" If you please," said Chip, " I do 
not see that the mere finding of this 
paper in Fotheringham's trunk shotdd 
fasten suspicion on him. If he was 
shrewd enough to capture the money, 
he would certainly not leave such 
damaging evidence as this paper 
would be. It seems to me that it 
would be a very plausible theory to 
advance, that the real robbers placed 
this in his trunk to direct suspicion 
against him. In fact, it was the first 
thing to be seen when the lid was 
lifted, for I was with Barney when 
he searched the room." 

Barney said nothing to his com- 
panion's remarks, but nodded his 
head to show that he acquiesced. 

Mr. Pinkerton listened carefully, 
and merely saying, " We'll look at 
this later," gave a very careful and 
complete description of Cummings, 
which he directed Chip and Barney 
to take to the St. Louis branch of 
this firm, and from there send it ' 



through all the divisions and sub- 
divisions of this vast detective cobweb. 
After issuing further and more 
orders relating to the case in hand, 
he put on his hat, and descended to 
the hotel office, followed by his two 
subordinates. 

After the exciting episode in the 
express-car had been brought to a 
close by Jim Cummings leaping from 
the car, the train moved on, and left 
him alone, the possessor of nearly 
$100,000. The game had been a 
desperate one, and well played, and 
nervy and cool as he was, the despe- 
rado was forced to seat himself on a 
pile of railroad ties, until he could 
regain possession of himself, for he 
trembled in every limb, and shook 
as with a chill. He pulled himself 
together, however, and picking up 
his valise, with its valuable contents, 
turned towards the river. 

He stepped from tie to tie, feeling 
his way in the darkness, every sense 
on the alert, and straining his eyes 
to catch a glimpse of some landmark. 
He had walked nearly a mile, when, 
from behind a pile of brush heaped 
up near the track, a man stepped 



THE DETECTIVE AND THE MESSENGER. 



23 



forth. The double click of a revolver 
was heard, and in an imperative 
tone the unknown man called out : 

" Halt ! Put your hands above 
your head. I've got the drop on 
you ! " 

Startled as he was by the sudden 
appearance of the ma a, and hardly 
recovered from his hard fight with 
the messenger, Cummings was too 
brave and too daring to yield so 
tamely. Dropping his valise, he 
sprang upon the audacious stranger 
so suddenly that he was taken com- 
pletely by surprise. The sharp report 
of the revolver rang out upon the 
quiet night, and the two men, Cum- 
mings uppermost, fell upon the grad- 
ing of the road. The men were very 
evenly matched, and the fortunes of 
war wavered from one to the other. 
The hoarse breathing, the muttered 
curses, and savage blows told that a 
desperate conflict was taking place. 
Clasped in each other's embrace, the 
men lay, side by side, neither able to 
gain the mastery. Far around the 
curve the rumbling of an approach 
freight train was heard. Nearer and 
nearer it came, and still the men 
fought on. With a grip of iron Cum- 



mings held the stranger's ehroat to 
the rail, and with arms of steel held 
around Cummings, his assailant 
pressed him to the ground. 

It was an even thing, a fair field 
and no favour, when the sudden flash 
of the headlight of the approaching 
engine, as it shot around the curve, 
caused both men to lose their hold 
and spring from the track. The 
strong, clear light flooded both with 
its brilliancy, and in that instant 
mutual recognition took place. 

u Wittrock ! " 

" Moriarity ! " 

The train swept by, and the dark- 
ness again settled around the late 
combatants. 

Cummings was the first to speak. 

" How the devil did you get here, 
Dan ? " 

" Just what I was going to ask you, 
Fred." 

'• Then you didn't get my letter ? " 

" What letter ? " 

" I wrote you from Chicago, to be 
on hand at the ' plant ' to night." 

" Did you send it to Leaven- 
worth ? '•' 

" Yes." 

" I am on my way there now Got 



24 



THE CHEAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



bunted in St. Louis ; couldn't make a 
raise, and I commenced to count ties 
for Leavenworth." 

"Yes, then you took me for some 
jay, and tried to hold me up. It's 
lucky I met you. I need you." 

" Any money in it ? " 

"Slathers of it." 

"What's your lay ?" 

Cummings hesitated a minute be- 
fore replying, and then said : 

" Dan, you went back on me once, 
I don't know that I can trust you ; 
you are too " 

" Trust me ! You give Dan Mori- 
arity a chance to cover some tin, and 
he's yours, body and soul." 

"What's your price to help me, 
and keep your mouth shut ? " 

" $2,000." 

" It's a go," and Cummings held 
out his hand. 

The compact was thus sealed, and 
lighting a match, Cummings com- 
menced to look for his valise. 

It had, fortunately, fallen outside 
the rails, and picking it up, Cum- 
mings led the way, followed by the 
somewhat surprised and still more 
curious Moriarity. 

At this point on the Missouri River 



the bluffs rise abruptly from the banks. 
The railroad, winding around the 
curves, was literally hewn from the 
solid rock. Deep gullies and ravines, 
starting from the water, intersected 
all portions of the country, and the 
thick underbrush made this place a 
safe and secure hiding-place for fugi- 
tives from justice, river pirates, and 
moonshiners. 

Cummings, at a point where one 
of these gullies branched off from 
the railroad, turned into it, and, with 
confident steps, followed closely by 
Moriarity, scaled the rocky precipice. 
Half way up the toilsome ascent he 
halted, and placing his fingers in his 
mouth, gave three shrill whistles 
— two short and one long drawn 
sounds. 

It was immediately answered ; and 
in an instant a flaming torch sprang 
into view, and almost as quickly was 
extinguished. 

A short climb, and turning sharply 
to the right, Cummings again 
stopped. The signal, repeated softly, 
was answered by a voice asking : 
" Who comes there ? " 
To which Cummings replied : 
"It is I ; be not afraid," at the same 



THE DETECTIVE AND THE MESSENGER. 



time poking Moriarity in the ribs, 
and chuckling : 

" I haven't forgotten my Bible yet, 
eh, Dan ? " 

A blanket was lifted to one side, 
and disclosed to view the entrance to 
a natural cave, into the wall of which 
was stuck a flaming, pitch-pine knot. 
Entering, the blanket was dropped, 
and, preceded by a man whose fea- 
tures the fitful glare of the torch 
failed to reveal, the two adventurers 
were ushered into the main portion 
of the cavern. 

In one corner the copper kettle 
and coiled worm of a whisky still 
told it was the abode of an illicit 
distiller, or a " moonshiner." 

A large fire cast a ruddy glow over 
the cave, and blankets and cooking 
utensils were scattered about. As 
the guide stepped into the light, he 
turned around, his eyes first falling 
on the well-stuffed valise, and then 
upon Cummings' face, which wore 
such an expression of success and 
satisfaction that he exclaimed, as he 
held out his hand : 

" By the ghost of Jesse James, you 
did it, old man !" 

" This looks like it, don't it ? " 



said the successful express-car robber, 
holding his valise to the light. 
" Don't you know this man, Haight?" 

" Damme, if it isn't Dan Mori- 
arity." 

"The same old penny, Haight," 
and Moriarity clasped his hand. 

Haight, as host, did the honours. 
An empty flour-barrel, covered by a 
square board, made an acceptable 
table. Small whisky barrels did 
duty as chairs, and a substantial 
repast of boiled fish, partridges, and 
grey squirrels, supplemented with 
steaming glasses of hot toddy, satis- 
fied the inner man, and for a time 
caused them to forget the exciting 
train of events through which they 
had just passed. 

After their hunger had been ap- 
peased pipes were lit, and the fragrant 
glasses of spirits, filled to the brim, 
were placed conveniently and se- 
ductively near at hand. 

Cummings then related, in detail, 
his night's exploit, and ended by 
opening the valise and taking out 
the packages of currency which it 
contained. It was a strange picture 
to gaze upon. The fire-lit cave, 
shrouded outside with mystery and 



26 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY, 



darkness, but its heart alive with 
light and warmth ; the rude ap- 
pliances and paraphernalia for dis- 
tilling the contraband " mountain 
dew " ; the Hoor strewn with blan- 
kets, cooking-tins, a rifle or two, and 
provisions ; while, bathed in the warm 
glow of the cheerful fire, secure from 
pursuit and comfortably housed from 
the weather, the three men, with 
greedy eyes, drank in the enchanting 
vision of luxurious wealth, which 
lay, bound in its neat wrappers, upon 
the floor of the cave. 

Not one of these men could be 
classed with professional criminals. 
Moriarity, perhaps, had several times 
done some " fine work," but was 
unknown in the strata of crime, and 
was never seen in the society of 
" experts." 

His attack upon Cummings could 
be called his ddbut, just as Cummings' 
late success could be looked on as his 
first definite step within the portals 
of outlawry and crime. Haight, as 
an accessory to the robbery, had 
hardly taken his first plunge. Some 
time before this these same men, with 
others, had planned an extensive 
robbery on the same line, but 



Moriarity weakened at the last 
moment, and the whole thing fell 
through. It was this incident which 
caused Cummings to doubt his trust- 
worthiness. Still, Moriarity had a 
certain amount of bull courage, of 
which Cummings was aware, and 
if his palm was but crossed by the 
almighty dollar he would be a valu- 
able ally. For this reason Cum- 
mings had taken him again into his 
confidence. For some moments the 
three men sat silently puffing their 
pipes and picturing the delight dt 
spending their ill-gotten booty, when 
Cummings, rising from his seat, 
placed the money on the table and 
cut the strings which bound it 
together. 

A hasty count revealed $53,000 in 
currency and about $40,000 in bonds, 
mortgage - deeds, and other uncon- 
vertible valuables. 

He had evidently fully considered 
his plans, and without any previous 
beating around the bush, proceeded 
to execute them. 

Opening a package of smaller bills 
he divided it into three parts, giving 
Haight and Moriarity each a share. 
The remainder of the plunder he 



THE DETECTIVE AND THE MESSENGER. 



27 



again divided into three portions, 
and taking the larger one for himself, 
proceeded to wrap it and tie it 
securely ; his companions, taking 
their cue from him, doing likewise. 

" Boys," he then said, " as soon as 
the robbery is discovered the com- 
pany will turn hell itself upside down 
to find it. Pinkerton will be on our 
trail in forty-eight hours. The first 
thing they will do will be to suspect 
the messsenger. He will be arrested, 
and while they are monkeying with 
him we must get out of the way. I 
told the poor devil I would write a 
letter to some paper, I think I said the 
Globe-Democrat, which would clear 
him, but we must make ourselves safe 
first. 

" Dan, you must get to Leaven- 
worth, find Cook, and have him plant 
what you have. Haight will go to 
Chicago and know what to do, while 
I — well — I am going south for my 
health." 

Stopping abruptly.}. he drew his 
revolver, and stepping up to Mori- 
arity, placed the cold muzzle to his 
temple. His eyes, cold as steel, and 
sharp as an arrow, were fastened upon 



Dan's very heart, and speaking with 
terrible earnestness, he said : 

'' Dan Moriarity, if ever you break 
faith with me, I'll kill you like a cur, 
so help me God ! " 

Moriarity stood the ordeal without 
flinching, and holding his right hand 
above his head, took a solemn oath 
never to betray, by word or deed, the 
trust which had been placed in him. 

Without another word each man 
carefully placed his particular charge 
securely about his person. Every 
scrap of paper was gathered up, and, 
after extinguishing the fire the three 
men left the cave, and in the dawn of 
the early morning descended to the 
railroad track. 

Hands were shaken, the last words 
of advice given, and Cummings 
plunged into the labyrinth of gullies 
and underbrush, leaving his com- 
panions each to pursue his own way, 
Moriarity going west ; while Haight, 
going east, sprang the fence, and 
entering a thick patch of bushes, 
brought out a horse, saddled and 
bridled. "Mounting this he struck 
into a quick canter across the country 
towards St. Louis. 



5(8 



CHAPTER V 



THE FIRST CLUE FOUND. 



Mr. Pinkerton had passed an 
anxious week. Never before had he 
been so completely baffled. The 
finding of the letter-heads with Bar- 
rett's name written on them in 
Fotheringham's trunk had quite 
upset his theories. Yet the most 
searching examination could find 
nothing in the suspected messenger's 
previous movements upon which to 
fasten any connection with the rob- 
bery. 

The vast machinery of Pinkerton's 
Detective Agency was at work all 
over the country. His brightest and 
keenest operatives had been brought 
together in St. Louis, Kansas City, 
'Leavenworth, and Chicago. False 
clues were sprung every day, and run 
down to a disappointed termination. 
But all to no purpose. Outwitted 
and baffled, Mr. Pinkerton was tread- 



ing his apartment at the Southern 
Hotel with impatient steps ; his brow 
was wrinkled with thought and his 
eyes heavy with loss of sleep. In his 
vast and varied experience with 
criminals, he had never yet met one 
who had so completely covered his 
tracks as this same Jim Cummings. 
Of one thing he was satisfied, how- 
ever, and that was, that no pro- 
fessional criminal had committed the 
robbery ; and again, that two or more 
men were concerned in it. 

In Fotheringham's description of 
the robbery, he had mentioned hear- 
ing an unusual noise in the fore part 
of the car, as if someone were tapping 
on the partition, and on examining 
the car, the bell-cord was found to be 
plugged. This showed an accomplice, 
or perhaps more than one. 

That it was not done by a pro* 



THE FIRST CLUE FOUND. 



29 



fessional was clear, because Mr. Pin- 
kerton, having the entire directory 
and encyclopaedia of crime and crimi- 
nals at his fingers' end, knew of no 
one who would have gone about the 
affair as this man Cummings had 
done. 

As everything else has its system, 
and each system has its followers, so 
robbery has its method, and each 
method its advocates and prac- 
titioners. This is so assuredly the 
fact that the detective almost instantly 
recognises the hand which did the 
work by the manner in which the 
work was done. 

This particular robbery was unique. 
An express-car had never been looted 
in this manner before. "Therefore," 
said Mr. Pinkerton, " it was done by 
a new man, and although this new 
man had the nerve, brains and 
shrewdness necessary to successfully 
terminate his plans, yet he will lack 
the cunning and experience of an old 
hand in keeping clear of the detec- 
tives and the law, and will do some 
one thing which will put us upon his 
track." 

He had just arrived at this com- 
forting conclusion when an impatient 



rap was heard on the door, followed 
almost instantly by Mr. Damsel 
opening it and entering the room. 

In his hand he held a letter, and, 
full of excitement, he waved it over 
his head, as he said : 

" He has written a letter." 

A gleam of satisfaction was in Mr, 
Pinkerton's eye as he took the paper 
from Mr. Damsel, but his manner 
was entirely void of excitement, and 
his voice was calm and even, as he 
replied : 

" I expected he would do some- 
thing of that sort." 

Mr. Damsel — his excitement some- 
what allayed by the nonchalant man- 
ner with which the detective had 
received the news — seated himself on 
the sofa. 

Mr. Pinkerton read the letter care- 
fully. 

It was headed " St. Joe, Missouri," 
and addressed to the editor of St. 
Louis Globe- Democrat ; and a large 
number of sheets, closely written in a 
back-hand, was signed " Yours truly, 
Jim Cummings." It stated, in sub- 
stance, that the robbery had been 
carefully planned some time before 
the occurrence. That entrance had 



30 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



been gained to the express-car by the 
presentation of a forged order from 
Route Agent Barrett, and that 
Fotheringham was entirely innocent 
of the entire affair. 

The letter related minutely all 
that occurred from the time the train 
left St. Louis until it reached Pacific. 

It told how the messenger was 
attacked, gagged, and bound, and, in 
fact, was such a complete expose 'of the 
robbery that Mr. Pinkerton laid it 
down with an incredulous smile, 
saying : 

"Nothing to that, Mr. Damsel. 
That letter was not written by the 
robber, but is a practical joke, played 
by someone who gleaned all his 
information from the newspapers." 

" Indeed !" responded Mr. Damsel ; 
" then what do you say to this ? " And 
he handed Mr. Pinkerton two pieces 
of calendered white paper, showing 
the seals of the Adams Express Com- 
pany upon it, the strings cut, but the 
paper still retaining the form of an 
oblong package. 

Surprised and puzzled, Mr. Pinker- 
ton saw they were the original wrap- 
pings of the $30,000 and $12,000 
packages which had been taken from 



the safe by the robber. The addresses 
were still on the paper, and Mr. 
Damsel, in a most emphatic tone, 
said : 

"I'm prepared to swear that they 
are genuine." 

Mr. Pinkerton, still silent, re-read 
the letter, carefully weighing each 
word, and this time finishing it. 

He came to one paragraph, which 
read : 

" Now to prove these facts * * * * 
I took my gun, a Smith & Wesson, 
No. 32, and billy, and put in with 
them the remaining copies of the 
letters we had practised on, and 
checked the package in the St. Louis 
Union Depot, under the initials 
J. M. Now if you want a good little 
gun and billy, go and get out the 
packages checked to J. M. in the 
Union Depot, October 25th ; there 
are probably seventy-five or eighty 
cents charges on it by this time, but 
the gun alone is worth $10. Also, 
if you want a double-barrelled shot- 
gun, muzzle-loader, go along the 
bank of the Missouri River, on the 
north side, about a mile below St. 
Charles Bridge, and about twenty feet 
along the bank, just east of that dyke 



THE FIRST CLUE FOUND. 



that runs out into the river, and you 
will find in a little gully a shot-gun 
and a musket. Be careful. I left 
them both loaded with buckshot, and 
caps on the tubes. They were laying, 
wrapped up in an oil-cloth, with 
some weeds thrown over them. Also 
down on the river, just below the 
guns, I left my skiff and a lot of 
stuff, coffee-pot, skillet, and partially 
concealed, just west of the skiff, you 
will find a box of grub, coffee, bacon, 
etc. I came down the river in a skiff 
Tuesday night, October 2b-2j, from 
a point opposite Labodie. It is a run 
of thirty-five or thirty-six miles. 
They should all be there unless 
someone found them before you got 
there. 

Mr. Pinkerton, ; n a brown study, 
tapping the table with his fingers, 
sat for some moments. Rising 
abruptly, he placed his hat on his 
head, and requesting Mr. Damsel to 
follow, left the room. In a short 
time he was in the Union Depot, and 
stepping up to the clerk in the parcel- 
room, asked for a package which had 
been left there October 25th, marked 



brought forward a parcel tied in a 
/ 

newspaper. 

"This is marked J. M., and was left 
here October 25th." 

"That is the one," said Mr 
Pinkerton, and paying the charges 
hastened back to the hotel. 

In spite of his habitual calmness 
and sang-froid, Mr. Pinkerton 's 
hand trembled as he cut the* string. 
As the paper was unwrapped, both 
men gave an exclamation of surprise 
and joy, for disclosed to view was a 
revolver, a billy, some shirts and 
papers. 

" At last ! " cried Mr. Pinkerton, 
and he eagerly scanned the various 
articles. The revolver was an ordi- 
nary self-cocking Smith & Wesson. 
The billy was the sort called " life- 
preservers." The Adams Express 
letter-heads were covered with the 
names "J. B. Barrett" and "W H. 
Damsel." Mr. Pinkerton passed 
these to his companions. 

" They are pretty fair forgeries. 
Hang me, if it don't look as though 
I had written that name myself! " 

The detective all this time was 



" J. M.," stating that he had lost nis 1 scrutinising each article, hoping to 
cuket. After some search, the clerk^i find something new. 



32 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY, 



With the papers he took out a 
printed ballad-sheet of the kind sold 
on the streets by newsboys and 
fakirs. Turning it over, he saw 



closely, read, 
Street." 



Chestnut 



The handwriting was the same as 

the handwriting of the letter. The 
i 
something written on it, and looking ' first clue had been found. 



33 



CHAPTER VJ. 



George Bingham, or as he was 
familiarly called, " Chip " Bingham, 
was the youngest operative in Mr. 
Pinkerton's service. His talents in 
the detective line ranged considerably 
higher than did the general run of 
his associates. Possessing an ana- 
lytical mind, he could take the effect, 
and, by logical conclusions, retrace 
its path to the fundamental cause, 
and, following this principle, he had 
made many valuable discoveries in 
mystery-shrouded cases, and had 
many times picked the end of a clue 
from a seemingly hopeless snarl, and 
ravelled the entire mesh of circum- 
stantial evidence, and made from it 
a strong cord of substantiated facts. 
Mr. Pinkerton had early recognised 
this talent, and having besides a 



peculiar attachment to the handsome 
young fellow, he frequently placed 
delicate and intricate cases into his 
hands, always with good results. It 
was for Chip, then, he sent, when he 
had finished his examination of the 
valuable package. 

Mr. Damsel, his mind somewhat 
freed from the trouble and worry it 
had carried since the robbery, had 
left Mr. Pinkerton alone and returned 
to his office. 

Chip, on receipt of his superior's 
message, immediately repaired to 
Room 84. His downcast counte' 
nance and disappointed air told 
of fruitless endeavours to catch 
even the slightest real clue. Kj 
said nothing as he entered the ruo;;i, 
but vvitU a gesture of hopeless failure 

B 



34 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



he sank into a chair and awaited his 
chief's pleasure. 

" Chip, I've got a starter." 

With an indulgent smile Chip 
nodded his head, but failed to ex- 
hibit any extraordinary interest. 

Mr. Pinkerton's eyes twinkled. He 
understood the situation, but time 
was valuable, and he could not waste 
any in humorous by-play So 
without further parleying he handed 
Chip the tell-tale letter. 

The young detective, almost from 
the first word, put the letter down 
as a practical joke, perpetrated on 
the newspaper, but as the missive 
progressed he became interested, and 
when he had reached that portion 
which told of the package, every fibre 
of his detective instinct was alive, 
and Mr. Pinkerton had no need of 
pointing to the precious parcel as 
corroborative evidence that the letter 
was genuine. 

In an instant Chip was examining 
the contents. Every portion of the 
revolver, billy, and letterheads was 
searched with deepest scrutiny. The 
printed sheet of ballad music was 
picked up, the verses read, and the 
sheet turned. 



An exclamation burst from his lips 
as his eye caught the words, written 

in lead pencil, " Chestnut 

Street," and placing it beside the 
letter, he saw it was written by the 
same hand. " The devil ! Here is 
a starter ! " 

His face glowed with animation, 
his eyes had the alert look of a 
hound on a hot scent, and carefully 
noting the number in his memo- 
randum book, without waiting in- 
structions from Mr. Pinkerton, he 
picked up his hat and hurriedly left 
the room. 

Mr. Pinkerton, in full sympathy 
with his subordinate, lit a cigar, and 
settled back for a comfortable smoke 
until Chip made his report. 

Chip, regaining the street, engaged 
a hack standing near the hotel, and 
stopping it a short distance from 
the number he wanted on Chestnut 
Street, walked the remaining distance 
to the house. 

A sign, " Board by the week or 
day," and another one, " Furnished 
rooms to let," showed it to be an 
ordinary boarding-house. Chip had 
fully decided within himself, during 
the ride, that the men who had left 



CHIP ' ' BINGHA M. 



35 



the parcel had also left St. Louis. 
While it was not so much an im- 
probability that the men would still 
be in the city, it was far more pro- 
bable that they would put some dis- 
tance between themselves and the 
scene of their exploit. 

For this reason Chip decided that 
a plain course would result in no 
unfortunate mishap or premature 
flushing of the game. 

Ascending the steps, he rang the 
bell. 

The landlady of the house herself 
opened the door. 

Before Chip could speak, she said : 

" You're a detective, aren't you ? " 

"Yes," said Chip, somewhat sur- 
prised, and regretted immediately that 
he had not made his entrance in a 
more detective-like manner. 

"I've been expecting some of you. 
You want to know about those two 
men that stopped with me a short 
time before the 'Frisco express rob- 



bery ? " 

Seeing at once that he was con- 
versing with a more than ordinary 
shrewd individual, Chip replied, 
" That's just what I'm here for. But 
why do you a?k that question ? " 



" Well, I suspicioned something 
was wrong with them two men. 
They came here on the fifteenth of 
October, and paid me a week's board 
in advance. They kept their room 
almost all the time, and when I went 
in to clean it, I saw a l©t of railroad 
time-tables and maps scattered around. 
One of them was always in the room. 
It was never left alone. A week 
before the robbery the smaller man 
left, he said for Kansas City, and the 
larger man told me if a letter came to 
the house, directed to Williams, that 
it is for him. Well, on the Friday 
before the robbery such a letter did 
come, and the big man, after reading 
it, said he had to go to Kansas City 
at once, but he didn't leave the house 
until Monday, and the next day the 
robbery occurred." 

" Can you give me a description of 
the men ? " 

The landlady thereupon gave a full 
description of the larger man, which 
Chip carefully inserted in his note- 
book, and recognised as the same 
given by Fotheringham of his assail- 
ant ^on that memorable night. But 
her description of the smaller of the 
two was somewhat yague, as sh« 



36 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



(aid he was only in the house a short 
time, and she saw very little of him. 

" May I go up to the room ? " 

" Yes ; come this way." 

Entering the room, the first thing 
which met the detective's eye was a 
bottle containing some sort of lini- 
ment, having on it a label of a neigh- 
bouring druggist. In a closet a pair of 
drawers Were found, and, with the 
dark brown stain below the knee, was 
almost identical to that which Chip 
had found on the railroad track, and 
which the robber had thrown from 
the express car. Not satisfied with 
this, Chip ripped up the carpet, and 
as a reward for his labour found an 
express tag, or rather a portion of- 
one, for the tag was torn in two 
pieces. On the tag Chip read the 

portion of an address, " arity," 

and below, " worth, Kansas.'' 

Further questioning of the garrulous 
landlady gained a description of the 
valise which the larger man carried 
away with him. It tallied with the 
description given by Fotheringham 
of the valise into which Jim Cum- 
mings had put the stolen money 

Gathering his trophies together, 
Chip bid hi? talkative lady friend 



good-day, and immediately bent his 
steps toward the drug store from 
which had come the bottle of 
liniment. 

No ; the druggist could not recol- 
lect what particular person had 
bought that bottle, but if the young 

man would call on Doctor B , he 

could probably ascertain the fact from 
him, as the liniment was put up from 
the Doctor's prescription. 

Chip, in a short time, was ushered 
into the Doctor's presence. 

Yes ; the Doctor not only recollected 
the man, but gave a very close de- 
scription of him. The man had come 
to him, suffering from a bad bruise on 
the leg below the knee. Nothing 
serious, but so painful that it caused 
him to limp. He had made ©ut the 
prescription of the unguent which the 
bottle had contained, and the man had 
paid for it. But he gave no name, 
nor said in what manner he had 
received the injury. 

Chip, satisfied with his work, left 
the physician, and whistling for his 
jehu, drove back to the hotel. 

That the large man who had 
boarded with the landlady at — Chest- 
nut Street, and had bought and used 



• ' CHIP ' ' BINGHA M. 



37 



the ointment, was identical with Jim 
Cumming>. the express robber, Chip 
had not the shadow of a doubt. The 
smaller man \va;, of course, hi:- accom- 
plice. He had seen wIkto the men 
had secreted themselves a week before 
the robbery — he was even pretty cer- 
tain of their movements during that 
time, but the question was, Where nad 
they gone after the deed was com- 
mitted? Who and where was the 
accomplice ? What other men had 
aided and abetted them in the 
scheme ? With his mind full of 
these perplexing queries he sought 
Mr. Pinkerton s room, and laid be- 
fore him the result of his search. 

Mr Pinkerton listened attentively, 
and picking up the torn express tag, 
examined it carefully. 

It was a port-ion of an ordinary tag, 
such as is used bv the Adams Express 
Company 

It had been torn about the middle. 
The strings were still on it. From 
its appearance it had been addressed, 
and the person, not satisfied with his 
work, had torn it in two and thrown 
it on the floor, from which it had 
probably been swept in a corner, and 
eventually got under the edge of the 



carpet, where Chip had found it. It 
read : 



\o r i ty 

north Ka?isas 



\ 




On the reverse side in faint pen- 
cilled characters were the words : " it 
to Cook." From the blurred appear- 
ance it was evident that a rubber had 
been used to erase them. These 
words had escaped Chip's notice, but 
as soon as Mr. Pinkerton saw them 
he said : 

"I see it all, Chip ; I see it all. A 
message was written on the tag, prob- 
ably giving some instructions, such as 
'Send it to Cook,' or 'Give it to 
Cook,' and the person sending it 
changing his mind about writing his 
instructions, so openly tried to erase 
the words with a rubber, but failing 
to do so tore the tag up and addressed 
another one. 

"The package to which this was 
to have been tied was sent to 
some man whose name ends in 
'ority, and who was in Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. We can find that 



38 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



out to-morrow, so turn in and get 
some sleep." 

The next morning the books of the 
Company were overhauled, and after 
a long, patient, and careful search k 
was found that on October 23rd, two 
days before the robbery, a valise had 



been expressed to a Daniel Moriarity 
Leavenworth, Kansas, charges pre- 
paid, by a man named John Wil- 
liams. 

That evening Chip left St. Louis 
for Leavenworth, and Mr. Pinkerton 
returned to Chicago. 



39 



CHAPTER VII. 



THE TRAMP. 



About the middle of November, 
after the now famous express robbery 
had taken place, a man, roughly 
dressed in a coarse suit of blue, wear- 
ing a woollen shirt open at the neck, 
and, knotted around his throat, a 
gaudy silk handkerchief, was strolling 
leisurely along the east bottoms near 
Kansas City. His face was tanned 
by exposure to the sun, and his shoes 
had the flattened and battered con- 
dition which is the natural conse- 
quence of a long and weary tramp. 
He walked as if he had no particular 
objective point, and looked like one 
of those peripatetic gentry who toil 
not neither do they spin — the genus 
"tramp." He complacently puffed a 
short clay nose-warmer, wilh his 
hands in his pockets, and taking first 
one side and then the other of the 
ro*d, as his fancy dictated, found 



himself near the old distillery at the 
outskirts of the city. 

A saloon near at hand, with its 
front door invitingly open, attracted 
his attention, and the cheering 
sounds of a violin, scraping out some 
popular air, gave a further impetus 
to inclination, and the tramp turned 
to the open door and entered. 
Seated on an empty barrel, his foot 
executing vigorous time to his own 
music, sat the musician of the horse- 
hair bow. 

Leaning against the bar, or seated 
at the small tables scattered around, 
the tramp saw a goodly number of 
the disciples of Bacchus, while from 
an inner room the clicking of ivory 
chips and half suppressed expressions 
of " I'll see you an' go you tenner 
better." "A full house Pat, what 
'er ye got ?" designated the altar at 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



which the worshippers of " draw 
poker" were offering sacrifices. 

The saloon consisted of one long, 
low room, on one side of which was 
located the conventional bar, with 
its background of glittering decanters 
and dazzling glasses and its " choice 
assortment of liquors " — to quote the 
sign which called attention to these 
necessary luxuries. 

A large stove stood in the centre 
of the room, and a number of small 
tables were placed around promis- 
cuously. The bar-tender, a smooth- 
faced, beetle-browed rascal, was en- 
gaged in shaking dice for the drinks 
with a customer, and to the music 
of the violin a light-footed Irishman 
was executing his national jig, to the 
great delight and no small edification 
of his enthusiastic audience. 

The wide sombreros, perched back 
on the head, pointed out the cow- 
boys who were making up for the lone- 
some days and nights on the plains. 

It was a motley crowd, a fair speci- 
men of the heterogeneous mass of 
humanity which floats hither and 
thither all over our Western States, 
and contained some villainous-look- 
ing fellows. 



As the tramp entered, the interest 
in the jig was developing into enthu- 
siasm. Hands were clapped and 
fingers snapped to the time of the 
nimble heels and toes of the jaunty 
Corkonian. The violinist was just 
settling down to vigorous work, and 
Pat, having the incentive of antici- 
pated free drinks as a reward for his 
efforts, was executing the most in- 
tricate of steps. 

The tramp lounged to the bar, 
followed by the suspicious glance of 
the bar-keeper, who assumed a more 
respectful demeanour as the object 
of his suspicions threw down a silver 
quarter and named his drink. It 
was quickly furnished and as quickly 
disposed of. The dancer had finished 
his jig and accepted with alacrity the 
proffered offers to wet his whistle. 
As he stepped to the bar his glance 
fell upon the tramp. 

" Are ye drinkin' this aivenin'? " 

" I am that," responded the tramp. 

" Faith, an' it's not at yer own ex- 
pinse, then," with a glance at the 
ragged clothing and " hard-up " ap- 
pearance of the wanderer. 

" An' a divil sight less at yours," 
retorted the tramp. " But by the 



77//:' TRAMP. 



4* 



same token, we both get our rosy by 
manes of our heels." 

" Shure fer ye, lad. It's hard-up 
I've been myself before the now, but 
it's a cold day when Barney O'Hara 
will let a bog-trotter go dry. Name 
your poison." 

"It's the rale ould stuff I'll be a 
takin' straight," and the tramp 
spread his elbows on the counter, 
and soon demonstrated his ability 
to gulp down the fiery fluid without 
any such effeminate trimmings as 
water in it. After the first glass had 
been emptied the tramp said : 

" I've had a bit of luck to-day ; 
what's your medicine ?" 

" The same," responded Barney. 

The liquor was poured into the 
glasses, and the tramp, diving deep 
in his pockets, drew out some small 
silver currency, and, with a move- 
ment expressive of untold wealth, 
threw it on the counter. 

As he did so the bar keeper 
uttered an oath of astonisnment, 
several of the roysterers sprang for- 
ward, and Barney, with an exclama- 
tion of amazement, put his hand on 
a Pinkerton detective star, with its 
terrible eye in the centre, which had 



fallen on the counter with the nickels 
and dimes the tramp had thrown down. 

Dark looks and murderous eyes 
were turned on the tramp, and more 
than one hand was placed on a re- 
volver. The bar -keeper, with an 
ugly look and bullying swagger, 
stepped from behind the bar and 
advanced on the tramp, his face 
distorted with rage, and his fists 
doubled in a most aggressive manner. 

The tramp, without moving, and 
apparently ignorant of the sensation 
he had created, raised his glass to his 
lips, and with a hearty " Here's to ye, 
lads !" tossed off the whisky. 

As he replaced his glass he be- 
came aware that he was the centre 
of attention, and facing the bar- 
keeper said : 

" What's the row with ye ? I paid 
fer the drinks." 

"What are you doin' with a detec- 
tive's star ?" said the bar-keeper. 

" Haven't I a right to one ? I 
dunno — finders keepers, losers weep- 
ers. I picked the bit of brass up 
on the road, not over an hour ago." 

The bar-keeper was not to be 
pacified by such a story, and in a 
threatening voice he asked : 



42 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



" Are you a man-hunter or not ?" 

The tramp threw a pitying glance 
3f scorn at the pugilistic whisky- 
seller, as he replied : 

" Be gorra, ye damned fool, do you 
think that I'd be after givin' myself 
away like this if I was one ? " 

" In course ye wouldn't," broke in 
Barney. " Don't be a fool, Jerry ; this 
man is no detective," and Barney 
fastened the star to the vest which 
encircled the portly form of the bar- 
keeper. 

" Now ye're one yerself, an' will 
be after runnin' us all in fer not 
detectin' enough of the elegant liquor 
ye handle." 

To this the man could make no 
reply, save a deep, hoarse laugh, and 
resuming his professional position, 
was shortly engaged in alleviating 
the thirst of his patrons. 

This little episode had just oc- 
curred, when the door of the inner 
room was thrown violently open, and 
a man, his coat off, rushed up to the 
bar. 

" Here, Jerry, break this fifty for 
me," at the same time throwing 
down a fifty -dollar bill, crisp and 
fresh. 



"You're playin' in bad luck to-day, 
Cook?" 

"Yes, damn it," said Cook. "Give 
me a drink for good luck." 

As the bar-keeper uttered the 
name of Cook, a quick but hardly 
perceptible glance of intelligence 
passed between Barney and the 
tramp. 

Cook hastily swallowed his whisky, 
rushed back to the poker table with 
a handful of five-dollar bills, and 
quiet reigned over the place. The 
bar-keeper, who spied a pesdble good 
customer in the tramp, had entered 
into a little conversation at the end 
of the counter on which the tramp 
leaned, the embodiment of solid com- 
fort, puffing his cigar vigorously, or 
allowing it to burn itself out in little 
rings of smoke. 

" You're a stranger to these parts ?" 

With an expressive wink the 
tramp replied : 

" Not so much as ye think. I've 
spint many a noight around here." 

" Night hawk, eh ? an' I took you 
for a man-trailer." 

"I've had the spalpeens after me- 
self afore now," spoke the tramp, in 
a low, confidential whisper. 



THE TRAMP. 



43 



" You keep yourself devilish low, 
then, for I know all the lads, and it's 
the first time I've clapped these two 
eyes on you." 

" Do ye think I mane to let the fly 
cops put their darbies on me, that I 
should be noisin' around in the broad 
day ?" 

" You're too fly for them, I see," 
said the bar-keeper, with a sagacious 
shake of his head. " You an' Barney 
are a pair."' 

" Barney ? Ye mane the Irish lad 
that was just here a bit ago ?" 

'' The same. He's square. He's 
one of you." 

The tramp leaned forward, his eyes 
fastened on the bloodshot eyes of the 
drink-compounder. and in an earnest 
tone asked : 

"Is he a bye that could crack a 
plant with the loikes o' me ?" 

Impressed with the tone and man- 
ner of the tramp, the bar-keeper 
gazed quickly around the room, and 
in a still lower tone replied : 

" He's on a lay himself. Would 
you like to go his pal ?" 

The tramp slowly nodded his head, 
and after receiving the whispered in- 
vitation to come around later, strolled 



out of the saloon, and so on up the road. 

Turning a corner he nearly ran 
against Barney himself, who was sit- 
ting on a horse-block, enjoying a 
pipe and the sun. 

Not a soul was in sight. Satisfy- 
ing himself of that fact, Barney gazed 
at the tramp and said : 

" By Jove, Chip, I thought you 
were a goner when that confounded 
star fell out !" 

Chip gave a deep sigh of relief, 
and taking off his hat, pointed to 
the perspiration which moistened the 
band : 

" Don't that look as though I 
thought so too, Sam ? " 

" How in the name of all that's 
lovely did you happen to be so 
careless ?" 

" That's what it was — sheer care- 
lessness. I suffered, though, for it. 
It would have been all up with me if 
the gang had not been so deucedly 
stupid. That Jerry is a villain, and 
no mistake. I told him that I was a 
profesh, and he told me you were 
another, and had a plan to do some 
fine work, without asking permission 
of the owners. So I am to meet him 
again to-night, and see if you will 



44 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



not take me as your pal. You have 
your cue, and will know how to act." 
" Chip, did you notice that man 
Cook ? " 

" You mean, did I notice the fifty- 
dollar bill he threw down ? " 
" Well, both." 

" Seems to me he didn't look like 
a man that ought to be carrying fifty- 
dollar bills around so recklessly " 

" He's a cooper, runs that little 
shop over there, and hasn't done a 
stroke of work for a month." 

The cooper shop pointed out by 
Sam was a small frame building", 
with the sign, "Oscar Cook — Barrels 
and Kegs," painted over the door. It 
was a tumbled-down, rickety affair, 
evidently having seen its best days. 
Chip surveyed it intently, then 
turning to Sam, inquired : 

" That express tag had on it some- 
thing about a man named Cook, 
didn't it ? " 

" Yes, the words, 'it to Cook.' " 
" Supposing that Dan Moriarity, 
whom we now know had some con- 
nection with the robbery, had taken 
the valise which was sent from St. 
Louis to Leavenworth, had obeyed 
the order— for it was evidently an 



order which was written on the tag — 
and given 'it to Cook,' it would be 
fair to infer that the Cook mentioned 
had some hand in the pudding, too, 
and ought to be pretty flush about 
this time." 

" You mean " 

" No, I don't mean that the Cook 
over in the saloon playing poker and 
the Cook mentioned on the tag are 
the same person, but we found no 
Dan Moriarity or Cook in Leaven- 
worth but what was above suspicion, 
and I think that the men who were 
smart enough to plan and carry out 
a robbery such as this was, would be 
shrewd enough to take every possible 
precaution against discovery. I mean 
that neither Moriarity or Cook are 
Leavenworth people, and, for all we 
kr.oiv to the contrary, may live here 
in Kansas City." 

As Liiip finished speaking, a man 

appeared at the front of the cooper 

shop, and unlocking the door, entered. 

" There is Cook, now," said Sam, 

making a movement as if to rise. 

With a motion of the hand Chip 
cautioned him to remain where he 
was, and with lazy steps lounged 
towards the shop. 



45 



CHAPTER vm. 



CAPTURE AND RESCUE. 



The White Elephant was a large 
gambling-hall in Kansas City, situ- 
ated on one of the principal thorough- 
fares. It was centrally located, and 
night after night the brilliant lights 
and crowded tables bore witness to 
its rushing business. 

On this evening the tiger was out 
with all its claws. Rouge-et-noir, 
roulette, faro, keno, and stud-poker 
were going in full blast. The pro- 
prietor, his elegant diamonds flashing 
in the light, was seated on a raised 
platform, from whence he could 
survey the entire company — his face, 
impassive as marble and unreadable 
as the sphinx, was turned toward 
the faro lay-out, which this evening 
appeared to be the centre of attrac- 
tion. 



Among the players sat one whose 
tall form and athletic frame would 
have been noticeable under any cir- 
cumstances, but was now more so, as 
it towered above his fellow-gamesters 
who crowded around the table. 

Before him lay a high pile of chips. 
He played with the nonchalant air of 
one who was there merely to pass 
away a vacant hour, but his stakes 
were high and he played every shot. 
His calm, impassioned countenance 
bore the unmistakable stamp of the 
professional gambler, and, serene as a 
quiet mill-pond, tn bore his losses or 
pocketed his winnings with the envi- 
able sang-froid which results from a 
long and intimate acquaintance with 
the green-baized table. 

Every night for a week had this 



4 6 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



man occupied the same seat, and with 
tareless imperturbability had mulcted 
the bank of several thousands. 

Rieley, the proprietor, himself one 
of the coolest dare-devil gamblers in 
the West, had recognised a kindred 
spirit, but to all advances and efforts 
to make his acquaintance the 
stranger had turned a cool shoulder, 
and his identity was still a matter of 
conjecture. 

Rieley was watching him closely 
this evening — so intently, indeed, that 
the stranger, with a look of annoy- 
ance, swept the chips into his hat, 
and, stepping up to the banker, cashed 
them in and walked out of the room. 
As he emerged from the door he 
came in violent contact with a man 
just .entering 

" I beg your pardon." 

"Not at by Jove! Moriarity, 

you here too ? " 

"Blest if it isn't Jim!" 

" Hush ! you fool ; speak lower." 

" Been up bucking the tiger ? " 

"I've been making a damned fool 
of myself. Rieley watched me too 
close for comfort, and I am going to 
vamoose." 

" When ? " 



"None of your business. 1 want 
you to come with me to-night. 1 
must see Cook." 

"Don't do it, Jim; Pink'erton's men 
are as thick as blackberries. You 
will run into one of them if you 
don't lay low." 

" No danger for me. One of them 
has a room next to mine at the hotel, 
and I played billiards with him this 
afternoon." 

"You're a cool one, Jim. Too 
cool. It will get you into trouble 
| yet." 

"Damn your croaking, man ! Do 
you show the white feather now ?" 
" Not I. I only warned you." 
" Well, put a clapper to your jaw, 
and come along." 

Boarding a street car, the men 
stood on the front platform smoking 
during the long ride to the terminus 
of the road. 

Leaving the car, they plunged 
through the darkness over the same 
path trod by the tramp earlier in the 
afternoon. 

The dark form of the distillery 
loomed up ahead of them, gloomy 
and lonesome. 

Overhead not a star was to be seen, 



CAPTURE AND RESCUE. 



47 



and save an occasional drunkard 
staggering home, the two men were 
alone on the road. 

A short distance beyond the dis- 
tillery the cooper-shop squatted be- 
side the street, and the dim nicker of 
a candle cast its pitiful light through 
the dirt-encrusted window. 

As Moriarity and Cummings 
stepped from the shadow of the dis- 
tillery, an indistinct form stole be- 
hind them, and keeping just within 
sight, followed the two men as they 
wended their lonely way to Cook's 
shop. 

Disdaining all attempts at conceal- 
ment, Cummings rapped loudly on 
the door. 

The sound of clinking glasses was 
heard, and a voice, heavy and thick, 
growled out, " Come in." 

A vigorous shove opened the door, 
and Cummings was about to step in- 
side, but at the sight of another man, 
a ragged tramp, drinking with Cook, 
he stopped short. 

" Come in, b'hoy, come in ; 
d-d-don't keep the d-d-door open ; 
come right in," stuttered Cook, too 
drunk to speak intelligibly. 

The tramp, elevating his glass 



above his head, with an inviting 
gesture, shouted the words of the old 
drinking song : 

" Drink, puppy, drink, let every puppy drink 
That's old enough to stand and to swallow, [hound, 

For we'll pass the bottle round, when we've become a 
And merrily we'll drink and we'll hallo." 

Cook attempted to join in the 
chorus, but his voice failed him, his 
head sank down upon his breast, and 
in a drunken stupor he rolled from 
his seat, prone upon the ground. 

The tramp, rising to his feet, stag- 
gered to the side of his companion, 
and steadying himself with the aid 
of a chair, made futile attempts to 
raise his comrade to a perpendicular 
position. His knees bent under him, 
the chair fell from his unsteady 
grasp, and murmuring, " We'll pass 
the bottle round," he lurched for- 
ward, and falling across the recum- 
bent Cook, passed from the worship 
of Bacchus to the arms of Morpheus, 
seemingly dead drunk. 

With a bitter curse of rage Cum- 
mings stepped forward, and with 
rough hands separated the boon 
companions, thrusting the tramp 
without ceremony under the table, 
Moriarity in the meantime shaking 
Cook in vain attempts to rouse him 
from his maudlin stupor Cook, 



4« 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



however, was too far " under the in- 
fluence " to be aroused, and to the 
vigorous skakings and punchings 
would respond only with a hiccough 
and part of the refrain " puppies 
drink." 

Cummings, in a towering rage at 
finding Cook in such a helpless con- 
dition, paced the small shop with im- 
patient tread, all the time pouring 
imprecations upon Cook's devoted 
head. A sudden turn in his short 
beat brought him facing the window, 
and flattened against the dirty pane 
was the face of a man gazing intently 
into the room. 

Another second and the face had 
disappeared. 

Cummings stopped abruptly at 
the sight of the apparition, his face 
became livid, and a shade of terror 
flashed across his countenance. It 
was but an instant, though, that he 
stood thus, and calling to Moriarity 
to follow, he- dashed through the 
door, drawing his ready revolver 
from his side coat-pocket at the 
same time, and catching a fleeting 
glimpse of a flying shadow, sped 
after it. 

Moriarity, somewhat dazed at the 



unexpected turn of affairs, had risen 
j to his feet, and stood blankly gazing 
j at the open door, not comprehending 
what had occurred. A movement 
| made by the pseudo tramp caused 
| him to turn around, and he was 
j gazing straight into the open barrel 
of a dangerous-looking revolver, held 
by a steady hand ; and cool, daring 
eyes were glancing over the shining 
barrel, as a voice, decided and com- 
manding, said : 

" Hands out, Dan Moriarity ; I 
want you." 

Chip, as he was stretched on the 
floor feigning drunkenness, had kept 
his ears open, although obliged to 
keep his eyes closed. 

The single candle which lit the 
room furnished light too indistinct 
for him to see the faces of the two 
visiters, and as he acted his character 
of the drunken man, he cudgelled his 
brains to account for their visit. 

The sudden disappearance of Cum- 
mings, and his calling out, "Moriarity, 
follow me," cleared the mystery. 

He comprehended the situation at 
once. 

While he did not know it was Jim 
Cummings that had been in tho 



CAPTURE AND RESCUE. 



49 



room, his mind with lightning speed 
grouped the torn express tag, the 
words " it to Cook," the man Cook, 
who lav beside him drunk, the fifty- 
dollar bill which he had changed at 
the bar-room, together with Dan 
Moriarity ; and quick to reach his 
conclusions, he saw that it was the 
Moriarity he wanted, accompanied 
by someone who had come to see 
Cook. 

Half opening his eyes, he saw that 
Moriarity was standing up, non- 
plussed at something, and instantly he 
drew his revolver ; and as Moriarity 
turned around, covered him and 
ordered him to hold out his 
hands. 

Staggered again the second time 
by seeing a ragged tramp, who a few 
seconds before was stretched at his 
feet in a drunken slumber, now erect, 
perfectly sober, and having the drop 
on him, Moriarity became :r..ore be- 
wildered, and passively held out his 
hands. 

The sharp click of steel handcuffs 
brought the dazed man to his senses, 
but too late. 

He opened his mouth to cry for 
aid, but a strong hand was laid on 



his wind-pipe and the cry died before 
it was born. 

The cold barrel of the revolver 
against his ear, and the detective's 
" shut up or I'll shoot," was too 
strong an argument to combat, and 
Moriarity submitted to being pushed 
hurriedly from the room into the 
open air and dark night. 

Chip was beginning to congratu- 
late himself on the important capture 
he had made, and with his hand on his 
captive's collar, and his revolver to 
his ear, was moving towards the 
centre of the street, when a whistling 
" swish " was heard, and the dull 
thud of a slung-shot on the detec- 
tive's head followed, and, every 
muscle relaxed, he sank a senseless 
mass in the dust of the road. 

" Help me pick him up," said 
Cummings, " and be quick about it, 
there's another beak around." 
1 " I can't. I've got his darbies on." 

Cummings stooped down, and lift- 
ing Chip in his arms, walked rapidly 
down the road towards the river. 

"What are you going to do with 
him, Jim?" 

" Chuck him through the ice. He 
i knows too much." 



50 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



With the senseless man in his 
arms, Cummings hurried forward, 
nor paused until he reached the 
river bank. 

The weather had been piercingly 
cold for a week, although no snow 
had fallen, and the river was frozen 
solid from bank to bank. 

To this fact Chip owed his life. 
When the train robber came to the 
ice, he sounded it with his heel. It 
was solid and firm, not even an air- 
hole to be seen. 

Baffled in his murderous designs, 
he debated for a second whether it 
would not be the best thing to leave 
the detective on the ice, and let him 
freeze to death, but the publicity of 
the place, its proximity to the city, 
and the risk of having been shadowed 
by the man whom he had caught 
gazing through the window, caused 
him to think of some secure 
place wherein to put the senseless 
Chip. He first searched the wounded 
man's pockets, and, finding the 
key, released the handcuffs from 
Moriarity. 

The latter, seeing Cummings hesi- 
Late, and divining the cause, said in 
a questioning voice : 



" Why not take him to the 
widow's, Jim ? " 

" I would a damned sight rather 
put him through the ice, but it's too 
thick for me. Do you think we can 
carry him between us ?" 

" It would never do to let people 
see us two with a dead man between 
us." 

" Then you must go up town and 
get a hack." 

Moriarity turned back t© the shore, 
and climbing the bank, hurried in 
the direction of the city. 

Left alone with his victim, the des- 
perado bent over him, placing his 
hand on Chip's heart. It beat 
steadily, though not strongly, and 
Cummings experienced a feeling of 
relief when he felt the regular pul- 
sations. 

He had never yet shed blood, and 
his first passion having died out, he 
was glad that the thick ice had de- 
feated his first purpose. 

The stunned detective stirred, the 
cold, crisp air was reviving him, and 
Cummings, his better nature asserting 
itself, hastily doffed his overcoat and 
threw it over the recumbent form 
of his captive. 



CAPTURE AA'D RESCUE. 



Si- 



It was not very long before the 
noise of carriage wheels were heard, 
and Moriarity, running out on the 
ice, assisted Cummings in carrying 
Chip to the land, and placed him in 
the carriage, which he had caught on 
the way to town. 

The driver, who had been told 
that " one of the boys had got more 
than he could carry," did not concern 
himself to investigate too closely, 
and having received his order, drove 
briskly from the scene. 

The darkness and open country 
gave way to gaslights and paved 
streets, over which the carriage 
rattled at a lively pace. Turning into 
a side street, Dan pulled the check- 
strap, and the carriage turned to the 
curb and stopped. 

The detective, still unconscious, 
was lifted out, the driver paid and 
dismissed, and the two men, bearing 
Chip between them, entered a dark, 
narrow alley. 

Proceeding up this for some dis- 
tance, they entered the low door of 
a basement, and placed their still 
insensible burden on the floor. 

The damp, mouldy smell of an 
underground room filled the air, and 



but for a slender beam of light which 
flashed beneath an adjoining door the 
place was dark as night. 

Softly stealing to the door, Mori- 
arity applied his ear to the key-hole, 
and hearing no sounds within, gave 
a peculiar double rap on the panel. 

Receiving no answer he cautiously 
opened the door and disclosed a small 
square room, having a low ceiling, 
and lighted by a single low-burning 
gas jet. 

On the walls hung a large astrono- 
mical map, showing the solar system, 
and divided with the girdle of the 
zodiac into its various constellations. 

A grinning skull, mounted' on a 
black pedestal, stood on a small table 
in the centre of the room, and on 
shelves against the wall were ' ranged 
a number of curiously-shaped bottles ; 
it was, in fact, the divining room 
of a professional fortune-teller. 

The room was vacant when Mori- 
arity opened the door, but as he 
threw it back a small bell was 
sounded. 

Almost instantly heavy curtains 
which hung opposite the door were 
pushed aside, and the fortune-teller 
appeared. 



52 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



Advancing with stately strides, 
her tall form erect and her hands 
clasped before her, she fastened a pair 
of cruel, glittering eyes on Moriarity, 
and in a deep voice asked : 

" Why this intrusion at this late 
hour ? " 

" Oh ! drop that stuff, Nance ; it 
won't go down with us ; we're no 
gulls to have pretty things told us 
by giving you a dollar." 

Recognising her visitor, Nance, in 
her natural tone, inquired sharply : 

" What do you want at this time 
of night ? " 

" In the first place, we want you to 
keep your mouth shut. In the next 
place, you must find a place for a 
man we've got here, and keep him 
for a while." 

" You're a loving nephew, you are, 
Dan Moriarity. Oh ! you come 
around and see you're old aunt when 
you're up to some devilment, I'm 
bound." 

Moriarity, not deigning to reply 



to this speech, had gone back to his 
companion, and now returned with the 
form of the detective between them. 

" My God ! you haven't killed 
him, Dan ? " 

" He has a pretty sore head, I 
reckon, but nothing worse. Take 
us upstairs." 

Following Nance, the men carried 
Chip behind the curtain, through 
another room, and ascended a flight 
of stairs. 

Nance threw open a door, and 
Chip was placed upon a bed. The 
room was sumptuously, even ele- 
gantly, furnished. Pictures adorned 
the walls, a heavy carpet deadened 
the sound of the feet, and rich 
curtains kept back the too-inquisi- 
tive light. 

Chip, wounded and insensible, 

» 

was in the house of the " widow," 
the rendezvous of a daring band of 
robbers and the birthplace of many 
a dashing raid or successful bank 
robbery. 



S3 



CHAPTER IX. 



IN THE TOILS. 



The dark shadow that had followed 
Cummings and Moriarity from the 
distillery to Cook's cooper-shop was 
none other than the assumed 
Barney O'Hara, who had aired his 
heels so jauntily in the saloon that 
afternoon. 

Watching on the outside while 
Chip was working Cook, he had 
spotted and shadowed the two men 
as they came down the road. 

The careless exposure of his face 
to Cummings through the window 
was the cause of the latter's sudden 
attempt to catch him. 

His nimble heels again stooa him 
in good stead, and in the darkness 
he easily eluded his pursuer. 

Cummings gave up the chase, and 
returning just in time, had stopped 
Chip's success by knocking him 



down with a slung-shot and carry- 
ing him off. 

When Barney, or rather Sam, 
returned to renew his investigation, 
he found the shop empty, save the 
intoxicated Cook. 

Thinking his late pursuer and 
his companion had taken the alarm, 
and that Chip was now doubtless 
shadowing them, he walked into the 
shop, and, true to his detective 
instincts and education, began a 
diligent search of the place. 

He was actively engaged in this 
work when the sound of hasty foot 
steps reached his ears. Throwing 
himself flat on the floor, behind a 
pile of barrel staves, he drew his re- 
volver and waited. The steps passed 
J by, however, and Sam quickly but 
quietly left the shop. 



54 



HIE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROB BERT. 



He could barely see the form of a 
man walking rapidly down the street 
to the horse-car track. 

As he passed the window of the 
saloon the light fell on him, and 
Sam saw it was one of the two men 
who had just left the cooper-shop. 

Following closely, using all his 
skill as a successful shadow, he 
trailed the man to the car, and 
boarding the front platform rode 
into town. 

Passing a livery stable the man 
left the car, still followed by Sam. 

When Moriarity — for it was he 
whom Sam was trailing — rode back to 
the river, Sam was perched on be- 
hind the hack. 

He saw the wounded Chip placed 
inside, thanks to the darkness, and 
still hanging on the back of the car- 
riage was carried back to town. 

When the two train robbers turned 
into the alley Sam was right behind 
them, so close that he could hear 
their laboured breathing. Suddenly, 
as if they had been swallowed by 
the earth, he was left alone in the 
dark, nonplussed and outwitted. 

Not a point of light was visible, 
and settling himself against the wail 



of a building, Sam started in for an 
all-night watch. 

He understood the case at once. 
Chip had been knocked down by 
the renegades, and, probably still 
insensible, had been carried to their 
haunt. Knocked down, either be- 
cause they had discovered his dis- 
guise, or had suspected him. 

He was now firmly convinced that 
if Cook was not an accomplice in the 
train robbery, he was involved in 
something criminal, and Sam re- 
gretted that he had not been more 
thorough in his investigations. Now 
that Chip was in the hands of his 
enemies, all others sank into insig- 
nificance ; so with keen eyes and 
sharp ears, Sam kept his solitary 
vigil. 

The grey dawn of the morning 
had taken the place of the night, 
and Sam, under the shadow of a 
convenient shed door, had heard or 
seen nothing pass his post. The day 
grew stronger, and, chilled to the 
bone, the disappointed detective left 
.the alley and wended his way to his 
boarding-house. 

The cause of the sudden disappear- 
ance of the two robbers the reader is 



IN THE TOILS. 



55 



acquainted with ; and the reason 
Sam failed to see them again was 
because they had left the house by 
another exit. 

The widow, acting as a go-between 
and a fence for the light-fingered 
gentry who patronised her establish- 
ment, hid her real calling with the 
guise of a fortune-teller ; and her 
house, poorly furnished, damp and 
mouldy when entered from the alley, 
was well furnished in the upper 
stories. 

The room in which Chip was con- 
fined was the sybil's chief pride. 
Every article of furniture, every bit 
of painting, the carpets, and even the 
base-burning stove, were the trophies 
of successful robberies. 

The very sheets and towels had 
been deftly purloined by the widow 
herself. 

It was this stronghold of the "gang" 
to which Chip, battered and insen- 
sible, had been brought by his captors. 

Cummings, who from his actions 
was no stranger to the house, in 
brief authoritative tones bade the 
witch to take charge of this prisoner 
until further disposition could be 
made of him. 



The widow listened to his words, 
and with the submission which all 
his associates rendered to him, pro- 
mised to do all he commanded. 

The first gleam of the morning 
warned the two men that they mu~t 
seek their cover, for despite Jim's 
natural boldness and daring, he was 
cautious and careful. Instead of de- 
scending to the room which had its 
entrance from the alley, they mounted 
another flight of stairs, and gaining 
the roof by means of the scuttle, 
walked the flat mansard until another 
hatch-door was reached, and through 
it they entered a quiet, unassuming 
appearing house, which stood on the 
side street from which the alley 
branched. 

The house, though completely 
furnished, was vacant, and the men 
reached the street without meeting 
anyone. 

Cummings and Moriarity having 
left, the widow for the first time 
ventured to look at her new charge. 
Her keen eyes noted the disguise 
which Chip had adopted. The 
wicked blow which had brought him 
to this plight had moved the red wig 
to one side, and disclosed the dark 



56 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



clustering hair, now bathed and 
soaked in his blood. 

He was still unconscious, but his 
strong constitution was regaining its 
sway, and he moved uneasily on 
his soft couch. 

The widow, now remembering the 
commands which Cummings had laid 
upon her, hastened to bring water, 
and washed the wound. The slung- 
shot had struck squarely across the 
crown of the head, but the cut was 
not very large or deep, and the 
widow, with ready skill, bound it 
neatly with bandages, and holding a 
brandy flask to his mouth forced 
some of its contents down his throat. 

The colour came back to the detec- 
tive's face, and in a few moments his 
eyes opened, and with a dazed ex- 
pression wandered over the room. 

The widow, who had retired from 
the room as she noticed the first 
signs of returning consciousness, now 
with consummate skill put a kindly, 



even tender, look toward the sufferer 
as she reappeared through the door. 

Chip, still very much bewildered, 
his head feeling as though it was 
whirling off his shoulders, heard a 
pleasant voice asking : " And how is 
my poor boy, now ? " 

Chip gazed vacantly at her, as he 
responded : 

" Who are you ? Where am I ? — 
my head " 

" Come, come, don't talk. Take 
this medicine like a good boy, and go 
to sleep." 

With child-like obedience the de- 
tective swallowed the draught, which 
soon took possession of his senses, 
and he fell asleep. 

The widow quietly sat beside him 
until tne opiate had taken full effect. 
Then muttering, " You are safe for 
four and twenty hours," she descended 
to her divining-room, leaving the 
detective deep in slumber, and in com- 
plete ignorance of his surroundings. 



CHAPTER X. 



ON THE WATCH. 



Sam Slade and Chip had been 
comrades at arms for almost two 
years. Many a dashing capture had 
they made. Adventures and hair- 
breadth escapes were of frequent oc- 
currence with the two " dare-devils," 
as the force had dubbed them, and 
before now each had saved the other's 
life by some bold stroke or skilful 
strategy. 

Satisfied that Chip was in danger, 
if not of his life at least of his liberty, 
Sam hastened to his room, and with 
the aid of soap and water resumed 
his natural appearance. The jaunty- 
looking Irish lad, Barney O'Hara, 
would never be recognised in the 
young gentleman who looked at 
you through gold-rimmed spectacles, 
with soft grey eyes, and whose sober 
demeanour and grave countenance 



bore the stamp of the student or 
minister. 

It was this metamorphosed indi- 
vidual that walked languidly to the 
breakfast-table, and responded in 
gentle tones to the -woman's saluta- 
tions which greeted him. Break- 
fast served and over, Sam again 
sought his room. His boarding- 
house had been selected entirely on 
account of this room. The room 
had once been occupied by a phy- 
sician as his office, and standing 
on the corner of two streets had a 
side entrance to it, besides the 
entrance from the main portion of 
the house. 

Thus the detective could slip in 
and out entirely unobserved by the 
boarders or his landlady, the latter 
supposing him to be a man of 



58 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



enough means to enable him to 
live without daily labour. 

Sam had given her this idea, and 
supplemented it by stating he was 
engaged in literary pursuits. 

Reaching his room, Sam wrote 
out a full report of the last twenty- 
four hours (this constituted his lite- 
rary labours), to be forwarded to Mr. 
Pinkerton, in Chicago. 

After his report was finished he 
hastily threw off his clothing, and 
replacing his sober suit of grey for the 
flashy costume of a man about town, 
he stood before his mirror to make 
up his face. ' 

No actor was more clever than 
Sam in artistic and realistic disguises. 
His smooth face was skilfully covered 
by a beard, short-cropped, his nose 
was given the slightest rosy tint, and 
putting on a light overcoat the 
studious young gentleman of half-an- 
hour ago was transformed into a 
howling swell. 

Tan-coloured gloves and a heavy, 
silver-headed cane completed his 
costume. Thus arrayed he sallied 
forth. 

It was now nearly noon. The 
streets were crowded, and Sam kept 



his eyes well opened, carelessly but 
keenly scrutinising every man he 
met. 

One saloon after another was 
visited, but no sight of the mysterious 
men who had downed Chip could 
be obtained. 

He had carefully noted his bearings 
when he left the alley in the morning, 
so he had no trouble in finding the 
correct locality again. 

His hat was tipped rakishly over 
his left eye as he swaggered up the 
alley and entered a beer vault for 
which the ailey was really the en- 
trance. By good luck, no customers 
were present, and Sam engaged in 
a lively conversation with the bar- 
tender. 

Skilful pumping, judiciously mixed 
with high-priced drinks, soon gave 
Sam the entire history of the deni- 
zens of the locality. 

It was beside the shed door of the 
beer vault that Sam had kept his 
solitary watch and ward the previous 
night, so that somewhere about this 
point Chip had been carried by his 
captors. 

Gazing through the window, Sam 
saw a mass of debris ; old cans, ashes, 



ON THE WATCH. 



59 



and the like, were scattered in the 
centre of the court or alley, while on 
both sides, near the buildings, a nar- 
row board walk was laid. 

Now, Sam knew that when he 
entered the place he was on the right- 
hand side, immediately behind his 
game. 

If they had crossed over to the 
side on which the beer vault stood, 
the crunching of the ashes or the 
noise of the old cans, which would 
be very apt to be moved, would have 
advised him of that fact. 

Putting these facts together, Sam 
was almost certain that they had not 
entered the beer cellar. 

Just opposite stood a half-open 
door, which, flush with the court, 
would have accounted for the sud- 
den disappearance of the men if they 
had turned suddenly and entered 
it. These observations were made by 
the detective while he was engaged 
in a livelv and pungent conversation 
with the burly bar-keeper. 

The saloon made a good post of 
observation, and Sam settled himself 
for an all-day patron if necessary. 
Taking a seat near the window, he 
called for a glass of beer, and tilting 



back his chair took a careful survey 
of tne premises. 

The alley was what is termed a 
"blind alley." On each side were 
low doors entering the basements of 
the houses, and the population con- 
sisted of rag-pickers, second-hand 
clothiers, and one pawn-shop. It 
was just such a place as one would 
expect to meet the lowest types of 
humanity. Dirty children were play- 
ing in the half-deserted place, their 
blue lips and pinched faces speaking 
eloquently of their poverty. Italian 
hand-organ grinders were sitting on 
their doorsteps, and slatternly womeja 
were leaning from their windows, 
exchanging gossip in loud, shrill 
tones. Occasionally a man would 
walk hurriedly up the narrow walk, 
carrying a suspicious bundle, and 
eyeing nervously every person he 
might meet, dodging suddenly into 
some one of the doors. All this 
Sam saw, but his eyes seldom left 
the half-open door immediately op- 
posite. 

He had been at his post nearly 
an hour, smoking a cigar or supping 
his liquor, the bar-keeper not caring 
what his customer did or what he 



6o 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



was, so long as he ordered and paid 
for an occasional drink, when there 
appeared at the door of the house 
which the detective was so closely 
watching a tall, dark-complexioned 
woman. Her eyes, strikingly bril- 
liant, swept the place, but the 
shadows of the beer-cellar prevented 
her seeing the interested person 
who noted every movement she 
made. The woman, after gazing up 
and down the court, threw her shawl 
over her head, and with long gliding 
steps walked towards the street. 

The bar-keeper, who was standing 
beside Sam as the female passed 
down the court, said with an out- 
ward jerk of his thumb : 

" Rum old gal that." 

" Friend of yours ? " lazily inquired 
the detective. 

"Naw. I don't have nothin' to 
do with her, nor she with me. 
She's a fortune-teller she is." 

" One of them kind that lays out 
the cards, and spells out your 
fortune, eh ? " 

" I dunno. I never was in her 
den." 

"Wonder if she could give me a 
luck charm ? '' asked Sam. 



" If you've got the dust she cap 
make you anything. Them as lives 
around here says she's a witch. 
Maybe so. I think she's some 
cursed half-breed, myself. None too 
good now, I tell you." 

'• Lived here long ? " 

'•Who? Me?" 

" No, the woman." 

" I've been here five years, and she 
was here before me." 

" I suppose she has plenty of 
customers, eh ? " 

" You bet, she has. The fool- 
killer ought to lay around here for 
a while. There were two dandy 
blokes come out of there this 
morning." 

Sam started, and inwardly cursed 
his stupidity in letting his game get 
away from him. The two men of 
which the bar-keeper spoke were 
probably the very persons he wanted, 
so in an indifferent tone he in- 
quired : 

" What's her office hours ? " 

" Any time night or day, I reckon. 
The two swells came out about ten 
I guess. Maybe later." 

" She don't throw on much style ? " 
) " Don't she though. Silks ain't 



ON THE W. 1 TCH. 



61 



nothin' to her. She's a clipper when 
she agonises." 

Fearing, if he kept up the con- 
versation much longer, that the bar- 
keeper would suspect his game, Sam 
called for another cigar, and picking 
up a deck of cards which lay on the 
table, suggested a game of "seven 
up." The bar-keeper seated him- 
self with his back to the window, 
Sam still holding his post of 
survey. 

The game was only just begun 
when the fortune-teller, carrying a 
small bottle, apparently of medicine, 
returned and entered the door. 

Sam's interest in the game died 
out shortly after, and patrons be- 
ginning to appear, the bar-keeper 
took his accustomed place behind 
the bar. 

The room very gradually filled up, 
and taking advantage of a little 
crowd near the door, Sam quietly 
slipped through the door and walked 
straight across to the fortune-teller's 
house. 

As he entered, the inner door was 
opened and the dark woman herself 
appeared. 

With inimitable assurance the 



detective removed his hat and ad- 
vanced towards her. 

Drawing herself up to her full 
height, the sibyl in a deep, solemn 
voice said : 

" What brings you here ? " 

" I'm in hard luck. Got scooped 
up to the White Elephant, and want 
you to give me a luck charm." 

The eyes of the hag glittered 
greedily as Sam held out a five-dollar 
bill, and throwing the door wide 
open she bade him enter. 

As Sam did so his experienced eye 
took in the whole room, the skull, 
charts, bottles, and even the cards did 
not escape his gaze. 

Nance pushed forward a chair, 
and telling him, under pain of break- 
ing the spell not to utter a word, 
she retired behind the curtain. 

Left alone, Sam took a more de- 
liberate survey of the apartment, and 
could hardly express an exclamation 
of satisfaction as he saw lying on the 
floor the old slouch hat which Chip 
had worn the preceding day. His 
face, however, showed nothing as 
Nance reappeared, bearing in one 
hand a peculiar lamp, scrolled and 
formed in a fanciful pattern, and in 



62 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



the other a large book, bound in 
parchment, covered with hierogly- 
phics. Putting the lamp on the 
table she extinguished the gas, and 
the pale-blue flame of the alcohol in 
the lamp cast its ghastly beams over 
the strange place. 

Muttering raoidly to herself, she 
threw powder on the flame, causing 
a green flash to appear each time, 
with her eyes fastened on the open 
pages of the book. 

Amused at the hollow fraud, Sam 
looked on, very much interested, and 
racking his brain to devise some 
means of gaining a further entrance 
to the house. From its outside ap- 
pearance he knew he must be in one 
of the rear rooms, and if Chip was 
not behind the curtain he must be 
in an upper storey. While he was 
thus occupied the fortune-teller had 
finished her incantations, and, taking 
from a drawer a small amulet sewed 
in oil-skin, handed it to the detective. 

" Take this, my son — the stars are 
auspicious. It will bring you and 
keep near you good luck and high 
fortune. Now, depart in peace, for I 
am weary, and would fain seek rest." 
His answer surprised her, for rising 



abruptly, he struck a match, and 
lighting the gas jet, pushed aside the 
curtains. 

With a scream of rage Nance 
sprang forward. 

" (jo but another step, and I'll tear 
your heart out ! " 

Disregarding her, the detective 
pushed forward and threw open the 
door leading to the ascending stairs. 

In a trice he had mounted them, 
and turning to the right entered a 
room. 

His astonishment was so great that 
he half stopped, for the apartment 
was furnished in almost regal style ; 
richly-upholstered furniture and oil 
paintings contrasted so vividly with 
the squalor and misery of the lower 
part of the house, that the audacious 
detective could scarcely believe his 
senses. 

A smothered cry of rage and terror 
behind him warned him, and turning 
swiftly he beheld Nance, with wild 
eyes and dishevelled hair, springing 
towards him. In her uplifted hand 
gleamed the glittering blade of a 
stiletto, and like a fury she rushed 
upon the bold intruder. 

The trained hand flew to the 



ON THE WATCH. 



63 



pocket, and the ready revolver leaped 
forth. 

Nance staggered back, the dagger 
falling from her nerveless hand, as 
in abject terror she crouched on a 
chair. 

" Don't shoot ! don't shoot ! See, 
I won't hurt you," she moaned. 

GrasDing her by the wrist, and 
pressing the revolver to her head, 
Sam said sternly, and in a voice 
that would brook no delay : 

"What have you done with the 
man brought here last night ? " 

Nance pointed to the next room, 
too frightened to speak, and thrust- 
ing her forward, Sam continued his 
search. 

Chip, his head covered with a 
bandage, and still somewhat con- 
fused, recognised his comrade as he 
entered the room. His mind was 
clear enough, however, to appre- 
ciate the situation, when the terror- 
stricken hag, pointing her long 
skinny finger at him, quivered in a 
tremulous voiee : " He s alive ; don't 
you see he's alive ? " 



Overjoyed at finding Chip safe and 
still alive, Sam clasped his hands. 

" Can you walk, Chip ? " he 
asked. 

" I don't know, Sam. I had a 
devilish close call," and Chip threw 
back the covers and essayed to step 
from the bed. His limbs trembled, 
and, throwing up his hands despair- 
ingly, he sank back again. A flask 
of brandy stood on the table, and in 
an instant Sam had the cork out 
and had poured some of its contents 
down his friend's throat. 

The generous fluid warmed the 
blood and revived the strength of 
the wounded detective, who, making 
another attempt, stood on his feet. 

Throwing his arm around Chip's 
waist, Sam bade the thoroughly 
cowed woman to go before him, 
and was moving slowly to the door 
when a sharp stern voice com- 
manded : 

" Stop ! " 

The detectives looked up, and 
standing in the open door, a revolver 
in each hand, stood Jim Cummings. 



6* 



CHAPTER XI. 



A MIDNIGHT FLIGHT. 



The two detectives were in a tight 
fix. One of them sorely wounded ; 
the other, handicapped by his almost 
helpless comrade, would stand small 
chance against the burly man who 
checked their path. But Sam, who 
was nearly as large in build as was 
his opponent, and in an even fight 
would not have hesitated to bear, 
down upon him, slipped his arm 
from around Chip, and prepared him- 
self for a desperate struggle. 

As his arm passed his side pocket, 
he felt his revolver. Keeping Chip 
before him, he slipped his hand on 
to it, and drew it out, Chip keeping 
Cummings from observing the move- 
ments. The scent of approaching 
danger had acted on Chip as a strong 
restorative, and his eyes met those 
of his late captor unflinchingly as 
he cried : 



" We know you now, Jim Cum- 
mings ; you've betrayed yourself." 
And Chip again looked at the trian- 
gular gold which his parted lips dis- 
closed on one of his teeth. 

Up to this moment the desperado 
had imagined himself to be unknown, 
but at the words Chip uttered he 
started, and with eyes burning with 
rage, and features twitching with 
fury, he turned to Nance, who, still 
under the spell of complete terror, 
was huddled in a corner, her hands 
over her face, not daring to meet the 
outlaw's eye. 

"Ah," he hissed, "you did this!" 
and like a flash his revolver covered 
her, and the whip-like report rang 
out. The answering voice of Sam's 
pistol echoed the first, and when the 
smoke had lifted, Cummings had 
disappeared. 



A MJDNIGHT FLIGHT. 



65 



Without stopping to look after the 
hag, Sam lifted Chip in his arms, and 
hastily descended the stairs. It was 
dark when the alley was reached, and 
slowly walking to the corner, a hack 
was called, and the two friends drove 
rapidly towards Sam's boarding-place. 

Stopping but just a second to tuck 
his friend in bed, Sam hastened to 
the Central Police Station and, in a 
few words, placed the case before the 
chief. The sergeant in charge at the 
time detailed five men to return with 
the detective. The house was en- 
tered and searched from basement to 
garret, but the birds had flown. 
The worn condition of the steps lead- 
ing to the roof attracted Sam's atten- 
tion, and further investigation dis- 
closed the fact that this scuttle-way 
was the means of -exit. Sam thus 
ascertained why his long, weary 
watch had been fruitless. 

After Cummings fired at the for- 
tune-teller he turned, flu| c kly & n 4 
ran up the steps -to the roof of the 
house, and so escaped through the 
vacant dwelling which faced the 



desired information, he decided to 
" vamoose the ranche," and that 
quickly. Moriarity must trust to 
his own good luck, for time was 
pressing, and to save himself he must 
take an immediate departure. 

A thousand schemes passed through 
his head, and a hundred disguises 
presented themselves to him as he 
hurried towards his room. Side 
streets and back alleys were taken, 
and more than once he doubled on 
his track to ascertain if he was 
followed. Satisfied that as yet no 
one was on his track, Cummings 
allowed his fears to vanish. He was 
still safe, and if he could only reach 
his " den " in safety he could lay low 
until the first wind had blown over. 
He knew that in a short time the 
whole city would be scoured for the 
noted Jim Cummings, and he laughed 
derisively as he thought of the open 
manner he had moved in the town 
since the robbery. No disguise had 
been attempted, no great secrecy, and 
if it had not been for the unfortunate 
affair of the cooper-shop, he might 



street Believing that the old I have lived there for years without 
woman had either betrayed him or I any suspicions being directed towards 
iiad been frightened into giving the I him. Although he had moved sr 



66 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



openly and bold, he had kept to him- 
self, not even telling Moriarity the 
location of his residence. To this 
place he now hurried. It was a large 
room in a first-class boarding-house, 
whose landlady atid boarders would 
have been horror-stricken had they 
known that "Mr. Williams," the 
jolly, good-natured young fellow Avho 
had proved such a valuable acquisition 
to their after-dinner gatherings, was 
the desperate free-booter who had 
walked away with the valuable ex- 
press package. 

Cummings was no ordinary robber. 
Endowed by nature with cool nerves, 
an active brain, and athletic frame, 
he had all the requirements necessary 
to make a successful and daring 
criminal. That he was so the pre- 
ceding pages have testified. Now 
that he was threatened with dis- 
covery, he did not rush blindly into 
danger by attempting to flee from 
it, but he did the exact opposite. 

He knew that every train would 
be watched, that telegrams would 
stretch out in all directions, and the 
detectives, now on a hot scent, would 
crowd him night and day. All these 
thoughts passed through his mind, as 



he leaned back in a comfortable chair 
and puffed his havana. And he 
decided it would be best to remain 
closely to his room, until the hue and 
cry had subsided, and play invalid. 

For a week he stirred not from 
the house. And then thinking the 
first heat had passed, he commenced 
strolling out after dark. 

One evening, having lighted a 
cigar, he was walking leisurely up 
the avenue, all fears of discovery set 
at rest by his fancied security, when 
his dream was rudely disturbed by a 
hand placed lightly on his shoulder. 
Quick as a panther, he sprang to one 
side, placing himself on the defensive, 
and his hand upon his pistol ready 
for any emergency. His startled 
gaze met a pitiful sight. Ragged 
and tattered, his hands trembling, 
and face blanched with the first touch 
of delirium tremens, stood Oscar 
Cook. Tottering up to Cummings, 
he whispered in tremulous tones : 

" Jim, they're after me. They 'most 
nabbed me. Save me, Jim, save 
me!" 

Alarmed lest the poor wretch 
would attract attention, Cummings 
placed his arm around him, and 



A MIDNIGHT FLIGHT. 



6 7 



half-carrying, half-dragging him, bore 
him to his room. Slipping the latch 
of the door, he turned up the gas. 

Cook sank into a chair, his elbows 
on his knees and his face buried in 
his hands. Every muscle was twitch- 
ing ; his eyes, staring stonily ahead, 
were bloodshot and fevered. Horror 
was printed on his face, and his 
fingers, curved like birds' claws, 
moved spasmodically over his head. 

" They're after me, Jim ; they're 
after me," he repeated again and 
again. 

Greatly disturbed by the sudden 
appearance of the wretched Cook, 
Cummings hardly knew how to meet 
the emergency. If he kept Cook 
with him, the tremens would come 
on. and in the delirium of the frenzy 
Cook would probably say something 
which would betray Cummings. On 
the other hand, if he left the house 
to place Cook in some safe quarters, 
he courted detection. 

He was in a tight box, and this, 
with the events which had just 
occurred and his close call of the 
week previous, made him somewhat 
nervous. As hj looked at the miser- 
able wretch before him he saw that 



he wore the high-heeled boots and 
spurs of the cowboys, who make 
Kansas City a rendezvous. In an 
instant his course was plain, and he 
proceeded to execute it. 

Handing Cook a large glass full of 
brandy, he bade him drink it. The 
half-crazed man needed no urging, 
but clutching the glass he drank it 
down greedily. Its effect was almost 
instantaneous. His face lost the hor- 
rible expression, his fingers straight- 
ened out, and the trembling ceased. 
Cummings watched him closely, and 
knowing that the liquor would only 
sustain him for a short time, he said : 

" Cook, where's your horse ?" 

" Down at the livery stable on the 
next block." 

" Can you get me one at the same 
place ? " 

" Yes, a good one, too." 

"We must get out of here. The 
place is too hot for us. All the trains 
are watched, so we must leave a-horse- 
back. Go, get your horse, hire one 
for me, and we'll vamoose at once." 

Cook started up with ■ alacrity, for 
as long as the brandy was potent the 
tremens would not affect him. 

Cu'.nr/i.nrjs '"r.'.ily changed his r.p- 

C 2 



68 



THE ORE At A I) A MS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



parel, putting on a pair of high boots 
and over them the fringed leather 
chapparels. A wide sombrero re- 
placed the derby hat, and when fully 
costumed he had on the business rig 
of a typical cowboy. 

He had hardly completed these 
arrangements when the noise of 
horse-hoofs on the pavement was 
heard. Opening the shutter Cum- 
mings waved his hand, and placing 
his revolver in the holster ran down 
the steps. 

He had written a note to his land- 
lady, saying that pressing business of 
the most urgent kind had suddenly 
called him out of town, and it was 
uncertain when he could return. 
This he left on the table, and the 
landlady saw him no more. 

The horses were fresh, and striking 
into a canter the two men made for 
the open country. The excitement 
and motion, combined with the brac- 
ing air, drove the fumes of the liquor 
from Cook's head, and before many 
miles had been passed he was com- 
paratively free from the terrible 
malady which threatened to con- 
sume him. 

The suburbs were passed, and un- 



der the clear sky and bright stars', 
the willing horses spurned the frozen 
mud from beneath their feet as they 
flew, neck and neck, down the 
road. Neither man had spoken 
a word since the start, but, sitting 
low in the saddle, gave the horses 
loose reins nor checked them an 
instant. 

They had left the road and were 
speeding over the frozen prairie, 
skirting a small clump of scrub oak, 
when just before them a solitary 
horseman could be seen, leisurely 
walking his steed. At the sudden 
appearance of the stranger, both men 
instinctively reined in their horses 
and pulled up short. The man at 
that moment heard them, and giving 
a hasty look backward, drove his 
spurs into his horse, and dashed for- 
ward at full speed. 

In sheer devilry, Cummings did 
likewise, followed by Cook, and gave 
chase to the flying horseman. It 
was nearly dawn. The grey light 
was brightening the landscape, and, 
observing his game more closely, 
Cummings saw something familiar 
in his form ; and when he glanced 
over his shoulder to see his pursuers, 



A midnight flight. 



6 9 



the heavy moustache could be seen, 
even in that uncertain light. 

Placing his fingers to his lips, Jim 
gave three whistles, two short and 
one long sounds. The shrill tones 
reached the stranger, who turned half 
around in his saddle and saw Cum- 
mings waving his hat. Checking his 
speed somewhat, he allowed the dis- 
tance between them to become less, 
but holding his horse well in hand, 
if any signs of treachery were 
observed he could have some chance 
of escaping. 

As the two men swept towards him 
they cried as in one voice : 

" Moriarity ! " 

Moriarity, for such it was, imme- 
diately drew up his horse, and the 
three friends were soon shaking 
hands. 

" The fly-cops made it too hot for 
me, boys,'' said Dan. " I came within 
an ace of being caught. One of 
the beaks had his hands on me, but I 
knocked him down and lit out." 

" Where are you bound for now ? " 
asked Cummings. 

" Down to Swanson's ranche." 

" We were heading the same way," 
said Cummings. 



Swanson's ranche, situated in the 
north-eastern part of the Indian 
Territory, near Coulby's Bluff, was 
about one hundred and fifty miles 
south of Kansas City. The rolling 
prairie which stretched between was 
interspersed with ranches and an 
occasional small town, but for the 
greater part was wild and unin- 
habited. 

Swanson, an Americanised Nor- 
wegian, had married a Cherokee 
squaw, which enabled him to locate 
in the Indian country. His reputa- 
tion was none of the best, but his 
unscrupulous character and well- 
known skill with the Winchester 
caused him to be feared, and an 
officer of the law would think twice 
before making any attempts to dis- 
turb him. It was at this place that 
the three fugitives were seeking 
refuge. 

The sun had risen, and it was 
broad day when Cummings, who 
naturally took the lead, commanded 
a halt. 

A clump of cotton-wood trees on 
the verge of a small shallow creek 
offered a good camping ground. 

Hobbling their horses, after taking 



70 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



the saddles from them, they allowed 
them to graze at will, and the party 
busied themselves in collecting wood 
for a fire. 

A few sheep which had escaped 
from some ranche were mazing near 
the spot, and Moriarity, who had his 
Winchester, dropped one by a well- 
directed ball back of the shoulder. 

The warm fleece was taken from 
the still quivering body, and the 
appetising smell of mutton steaks 
reminded the hungry men that the 
breakfast hour had long since passed. 

The meal over, nature asserted her 
claims, and the thoroughly tired-out 
travellers wrapped themselves in 
their blankets and fell asleep. 

They were not disturbed, for the 
trail which they had taken was 
seldom travelled over, and it was 
late in the afternoon when they were 
once more on their way. 

The trail led over the beds of 
dried-up streams, and skirted the 
numerous patches of scrub oak and 
cotton-wood trees which were scat- 
tered all over the prairie. The long 
prairie grass sometimes brushed the 
feet of the horsemen, and coveys of 
prairie chickens flew up and scudded 



away as the three outlaws galloped 
past. Mile after mile was left behind, 
the tough Indian ponies they be- 
strode keeping the tireless lope for 
which they are noted, without slack- 
ing the pace or becoming exhausted. 
The three riders were expert horse- 
men, and had been accustomed to 
the saddle almost from infancy. 

Little was said and few words 
spoken by the men as they skimmed 
over the prairie, save to call attention 
to some obstacle in the way, or to 
some change in the trail, which 
stretched before them plain and 
distinct. 

The few Indians and half-breeds 
they met paid no attention to them, 
thinking them to be cowboys bound 
for their camp, and in fact they did 
resemble those hardy specimens of 
plainsmen who range this country, 
herding cattle or sheep. 

When the chill of the night had 
set in, Cummings ordered a second 
halt, and the horses, hobbled, com- 
menced to graze on the short buffalo- 
grass which spread under foot. The 
remainder of the carcase of mutton 
which Moriarity had shot had been 
i strapped back of his saddle, and was 



A JlflDNIGHT FLIGHT 



7i 



now cut up into suitable sizes for the 
fire which Cook had built. The 
meat, laid on the glowing embers, 
was soon cooked, and, their hunger 
appeased, the men, wrapped in their 
blankets, their feet to the fire, com- 
posed themselves for slumber. 

The long hours of the night passed 
on ; the fire had died out, when Cum- 
mings, awakened by a sudden feeling 
of chilliness, rose to his feet and piled 
some twigs and branches together to 
make a blaze. As he stooped to the 
ground the faint, far-off beats of 
horses' hoofs reached his quick ear. 

'• Dan ! Cook ! Wake up ! Get 
up, lively ! " he cried as he made a 
dash for his. saddle and threw it on 
his horse. " They are after us/' 

The camp was instantly in com- 
motion, the saddles thrown over the 
horses and tightened with ready and 
exoerienced hands ; ana vaulting into 
the saddles the three men rode out 



into the bright moonlight, as a com- 
pany of ten men, armed to the teeth, 
swept like a whirlwind around the 
edge of the timber. 

A yell reached the ears of the three 
fugitives as they galloped out on the 
prairie, and a voice, clear and com- 
manding, rang out in tones familiar 
to Moriarity, who had heard them in 
the cooper-shop when the tramp 
commanded him to hold out his 
hands. 

" There they are, lads. Forward !" 

Uttering a deep round oath, Dan 
turned in his saddle, giving the horse 
the head, and levelling his rifle fired 
point-blank at the pursuing party. ■■ 

A cry of derision greeted the shot, 
and Cummings, saying. " Hold your 
shots, you fool," drove his spurs 
cruelly into the horse's flanks, and, 
followed closely by his companions, 
dashed down the trail towards Swan- 
son's ranche. 



72 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE PURSUIT. 



Chip and Sam were not the only 
Pinkerton men in Kansas City at 
this time engaged on the Adams 
Express robbery case, for from the 
time Cook awoke from the drunken 
stupor in which Cummings and 
Moriarity found him at the cooper- 
shop on the night when Chip was 
captured, he had been shadowed con- 
stantly by Barney, who with Chip 
had found the letter-heads in Fother- 
ingham's trunk. 

Day and night had Barney followed 
him, and he was but a short distance 
behind when Cummings took Cook, 
on the verge of the delirium tremens, 
to his room. 

When Cook came back with the 
horses and with Cummings rode 
away, Barney hastened to Chip, who, 
fully recovered from the terrible blow 



.on the head, had again assumed his 
duties, and reported the fact to him. 

Sam, who was on the look out for 
Moriarity, was notified at once, and 
the three detectives, laying the matter 
before the chief of police, were fur- 
nished with seven mounted men 
armed to the teeth, and all of them 
old Texas rangers. 

This formidable troop had left the 
city scarcely an hour after the robbers 
had started. The direction they took 
and the nature of the country pointed 
to Swanson's ranche as the point for 
which the outlaws were making. 

All night long the posse rode, and 
had they not taken a wrong trail, 
would have caught up to the robbers 
at their first camp. 

Retracing their path, a short halt 
only was made, saddle-girths were. 



THE PURSUIT 



n 



tightened, the rifles closely inspected, 
and Chip, giving the cry of " For- 
ward !" led the company on the hot 
scent. 

Like a good general, Chip spread 
his men to the right and left of the 
trail, so that in moving forward a 
wide swath of country was swept. 

The first camp which the outlaws 
had made was discovered by the scout 
on the left flank. Raising the Texan 
yell; the rank closed in and gathered 
around the spot. One of the men, 
an old Indian hunter, burnt by the 
sun to living bronze, and scarred by 
the many hand-to-hand conflicts he 
had had with the red savages, leaped 
from hit horse, his keen eyes fastened 
to the ground, read the signs which 
the outlaws had left as if they were 
printed words. 

Pointing to the fire and the rem- 
nants of the burnt meat and bones 
near it, he said : 

" They ain't more'n three hours 
ahead of us, and there's more than 
the two. Three fellars ate their grub 
here this morning.'' 

" How do you make that out ?" 
said Chip. 

" Well, Cap'n, I've fit logins and 



herded cattle more'n twenty year, off 
an' on, and if there ain't been three 
men here not over three hour 
ago I lose my reckonin' See here, 
in this soft place where the sun has 
melted the ground a bit, is hoof- 
marks, and they belong to three 
different horses." 

" Perhaps they stole a horse?" 

" Mebbe so, and mebben't so. I 
reckon it mebben't so. Cause why ? 
The fellar as walked over this patch 
wore boots and spurs, long rowels 
on 'em, too. See where they cut the 
mud. Here is another one, a derned 
sight smaller foot, and here is one 
that had a sharp heel. No, Cap'n, 
they picked up a man somewhar 
along the road." 

To this the others who had come 
out with the detectives gave their 
unqualified assent, and Chip cried : 

" Three hours ahead is a good 
lead on us, boys. We must climb 
along." 

The command was again given, 
and, rendered more eager and enthu- 
siastic by the knowledge that onl^ 
thirty miles was between them and 
their game, the men moved forward 
with a cheer 



74 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROEBERY. 



Another short halt was made for 
supper, and the trail was again 
covered just as the robbers had about 
commenced to sleep. A sharp look- 
out was maintained, and the bright 
light of the full moon turned night 
into day and made the task so much 
the easier. 

As they rode around the edge of 
the timber in which Cummings and 
his companions were secreted, they 
had no suspicion that they had 
gained so rapidly on the flying 
renegades, so that the sudden appear- 
ance of the men for whom they were 
searching somewhat surprised them. 
Giving their peculiar yell, they 
pressed forward with a great burst of 
speed, not even checking the gait 
when the ball which Moriarity sent 
whistled over them. 

Instantly several rifles were levelled 
at the flying robbers, and had not 
Chip commanded them not to shoot 
it would have fared ill with Jim 
Cummings and his companions. 

With the speed of the wind the 
horses flew down the trail; the rapid 
hoof-beats rang out on the still night 
and sent the slinking coyotes howl- 
ing to their lairs. Just peering 



above the horizon could be seen the 
dark outlines of Coody's Bluff, fifteen 
miles away, and if Cummings could 
but reach its shadow he was safe, 
even from the posse which was 
pursuing him, for he would then be 
in the Indian Territory. Looking 
back at his pursuers, who in a solid 
group were following him so closely 
that he could almost distinguish their 
features, so bright was the night, he 
saw that their horses were not driven 
at the full height of their speed, but 
were rather being held back. Alarm- 
ed at this, he communicated his fears 
to his companions, who, one on each 
side, were bending forward in the 
saddle, urging and caressing their 
horses to get all there was out of 
them, and right gamely did the 
staunch animals respond to the touch 
of the spur or pat of the hand, as 
they beat out mile after mile behind 
them, the hoof-beats echoed by the 
flying party behind. With starting 
eyeballs eagerly fixed on the dim 
outlines of the bluff, the hunted men 
watched it grow larger and more 
distinct, and hope began to revive in 
their breasts when a sharp "ping" of 
a rifle, followed by the whistle of the 



THE PURSUIT. 



75 



ball passing over their heads, broke 
the silence of the wordless chase. 

As with one impulse, each man 
threw himself flat on. his horse's neck, 
but did not for an instant relax speed 
or spur. Another shot followed, and 
Chir's voice, ringing and clear, 
shouted : 

"If vou don't halt, we'll shoot 
your horses." 

•'Shoot and be damned !" said Jim 
Cummings, almost exultingly, as he 
drew his revolver from his belt. 
" Two can play at that game," and 
drawing a hasty bead on Chip, he 
pulled the trigger. 

Chip s horse, giving a convulsive 
leap to one side, staggered a little, I mings half turned in his saddle, and 



signs of distress, and the dry creek 
bed was still a long, long distance 
off. 

Nearer and nearer crept Chip and 
his men ; the thirteen men, pursuers 
and pursued, were almost in one 
party. Chip, who led, and Cum- 
mings, who rode behind his comrades, 
were not a horse's length apart. 

Slowly the gallant beast Chip 
bestrode pushed forward, gaining 
little by little until his nos« almost 
reached the flank of Jim's steed. 

"Jim Cummings, do you sur- 
render ? " and the sharp click of a 
revolver was heard. 

With a malignant scowl Cum- 



and fell behind, but was soon in the 
lead again, apparently unhurt. 

"Boys," shouted Cummings, "d'ye 
see that dry creek bed ? On the 
other side we're safe." The pursuing 
posse, hearing these words, and 
knowing their full import, gave spurs 
to their horses, and the distance 
between the two parties closed up so 
rapidly that the three outlaws could 
hear the heavy breathing of the 
following horses. 

Their own animals began to show 



saying : 

" No, damn me, no ; not while I 
live," placed his revolver at the head 
of Chip's mount and sent the ball 
crashing to its brain. 

Down in its tracks shot the nobk 
steed, the dark, rich blood jett? jg 
from the ghastly hole, and delug ing 
Chip with its crimson flood. 

Chip, with the address of an 
experienced horseman, had lig Wed 
upon his feet, his revolver still 
clutched in his hand. 



7 6 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



The sudden fall of the leading 
horse had caused the remainder of 
the party to haul up short to avoid 
running horse and rider down. This 
left the road clear before him, and 
Chip, dropping on his knee, took a 
long careful sight at Cummings, and 
fired. 

A sudden swerve of Jim's horse 
saved him, but uttering a cry of pain, 
Cook's steed, struck in a vital point, 
stopped short, and trembling in 
every limb slowly sank to the 
ground. Cook, taken so unexpect- 
edly, had shot over his horse's head, 
and now lay unconscious, in the 
centre of the trail ; his two compan- 
ions, driving the spurs deeper into 
the flanks of their almost exhausted 
animals, dashed down the banks of 
the dividing line and stood safe on 
Indian Territory. 

The unconscious Cook was at once 
surrounded by the detectives and 
posse, and a generous dose of brandy 
poured down his throat brought him 
to his senses. 

Chagrined beyond measure at the 
escape of his man, just when he was 
about to put his hand on him, and at 
the loss of his horse, Chip was in no 



humour to allow a technical boundary 
line to keep him from capturing his 
men, who, riding around the edge of 
an elevation on the prairie, were now 
lost to sight. 

" Brodey," he said, turning to the 
ranger who had been the guide of the 
expedition from the time it started 
from Kansas City, " how tar is it to 
Swanson's ranche ? " 

" A matter of twenty-five miles, as 
the crow flies." 

" How far by the trail ? " 

" Well, Cap'n," responded Brodev, 
reflectively, as he threw his knee over 
the pommel of his saddle, " lemme 
see. The trail goes by that there 
belt of timber, then jines the stage- 
road to Allewe, an' follows that a 
piece, then it shunts off to the west 
straight for the bluff thar, purty 
nearly a bee-line. Thirty miles, 
sure — mebbe less." 

"Is that the Indian Territory 'tother 
side of the divide ? " 

" Jesso — Cherokee Nation." 

" What sort of a man is this Swan- 
son ? " 

" Half-buffalo, half-painter, an' 
other half crocodile. He's wuss than 
a half-breed Apache, an' would as 



THE PURSUIT 



77 



soon shoot a man as to drink, an' 
Swanson's a right powerful punisher 
of the whisky-jug." 

"Yes! yes! - 1 know all that, but 
is he cunning, shrewd, sharp, you 
know ? " 

"Got eyes like an Injun, ears like 
a coyote, an' a nose sharp as a gopher 
snake." 

" He must be a tough combination ; 
but I'il do it, all the same." 

" Do what, Chip ? " asked Sam. 

" Go down to Swanson's and bring 
in my man." 

"Bars and burner skins," cried 
Brodey. " You don't mean to say 
that you will do such a blame fool 
thing as that? Sho ! " 

" Not alone, Chip," said Sam. " I 
go with you." 

" See hyar, young fellows." expos- 
tulated Brodey " Do ye know what 
your doin' ! Got any idee ye'll come 
back alive ! I've been in some tough 
places before now. but shoot my 
worthless carcase if I want to go to 
Swanson's. He's killed a man, torn 
out his heart, and eaten it raw, fer 
a fact." 

" Pshaw ! who would believe such a 
yarn as that, man ?" 



" Swar to gosh it's true," continued 
Brodey. "I don't believe thar's a 
man in the States what's got as 
much devil to thar square inch as 
this man Swanson. Better not go, 
Cap'n. I'd hate tremendous to have 
you killed." 

Chip laughed lightly, as he stroked 
the neck of the ranger's horse, and 
said : 

" Brodey, I've been a detective for 
five years, and in those five years I've 
looked almost sure death in the face 
more than a score of times. I have 

seen the knife raised which was to be 

« 

buried in my heart the next second. 
I have felt the revolver spit its flames 
plump in my face. I have been tied 
hand and feet and laid across the rail, 
with a lightning express train not 
over a thousand feet off, coming down 
like the wind, and I am a live man 
to-day. The man isn't born yet that 
can kill me." 

Chip said all this in a modest tone, 
and no signs of braggadocio, for it 
was all true, and his listeners knew 
he was telling facts by his bearing 
and manner. 

" Yes," broke in Sam, " and I was 
with you on several of these occasions ; 



7» 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



and what's more, I shall be with you 
on this one you are planning." 

" I want you should be — but 
enough of this talk. We can do 
nothing more now. Our men have 
given us the slip. Dismount, boys, 
and give the nags a breathing spell." 

Cook by this time had regained his 
senses, and was sitting up in the 
middle of the trail, rubbing his 
shoulder and wearing a most woe- 
begone and dazed look upon his 
expressive countenance. Observing 
this, Chip walked toward him, and 
imitating a drunken stagger, sang : 

" Drink, puppies, drink ; let every puppy 

drink 
That's old enough to stand and to swallow." 

As the first strains fell on his ears, 
Cook started, and regarding Chip 
with questioning eyes, inquired : 

" Who are you fellows, anyway ? 
Can't you let peaceable travellers alone 
without shooting their horses ? " 

" Oh ! you were peaceable travellers, 
were you ? Well, now, that's strange ; 
we took you to be some horse thieves 
that have been skurrying around 
these parts lately." 

" Do you think I look like a horse- 
thief ? " indignantly. 

" Is that your own horse ? " 



" Not exactly. I hired " 

" Ah ! yes, you hired it — they all 
say that — you hired it some time ago, 
and have forgotten to pay the 
bill " 

" Well, I didn't either. I hired it 
for a week and " 

" Really, Mr. Cook, you were going 
to make quite a visit " 

" My name ain't Cook." 

" No ? Let us call you Mr. Cook, 
just for the sake of the argument. 
It's a good name is Cook. I used to 
know a fellow named Cook once. He 
had a cooper-shop on the east bot- 
toms, Kansas City. I went over to 
see him a week or so ago, and we had 
a high old time, I can assure you. 
Cook was a very amusing gentleman. 
He could sing like Brignoli. What 
was that song he could sing so 
nicely ? Oh ! yes, I have it : 

" For we'll pass the bottle round 
When we've " 

" The tramp ! " ejaculated Cook, 
looking at Chip with amazement. 

" The same, at your service, Mr. 
Cook, for that is your name, isn't 
it ?" 

"I'm caught," confessed the puzzled 
Cook. " What are you making game 



THE PURSUIT 



79 



of me for ? What do you want nic j Escape was entirely cut off from him, 



for ? " 

" Nothing, nothing. We were ' 
afraid you might prolong your 
anticipated visit to such a length that 
we grew homesick for you, so I got 
some of tne boys together, a sort of a 
picnic, you know, to ask you not to 
stay too long," bantered Chip. " We 
really can't take ' no * for an answer. 
Mr. Cook, really you must consider 
our feelings and return with us." 

" I guess I can't help myself," said 
Cook grimly. 

" It does look a little that way, 
don't it?" 

Cook shook his head as he arose to 
his feet, and stooping over his dead 
horse unloosed the girth and drew off 
the saddle, nor did he make any 
objection when Chip secured his 
revolver and ammunition belt. 



and he accepted his capture in a re- 
signed spirit, because he could not 
help himself. 

" Brodey, how far is the railroad 
from here ? " 

" About fifteen miles over thar," 
pointing towards the east. '' Blue 
Jacket lies thar, and is on the Mis- 
souri, Kansas and Texas." 

" We'll make for it. You take the 
prisoner behind you, and I will mount 
with Sam." 

The cavalcade were speedily in 
motion, leaving the dead horses to 
be devoured by the buzzards and 
coyotes which were already begin- 
ning to gather around. 

Arriving at. Blue Jacket, the party 
left Chip and his prisoner, and turn- 
ing to the north cantered off tor 
Kansas Ciiy. 



So 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Swanson's ranche— the detectives in robbers' retreat— the success 
of the doctor— another robbery planned. 



In the centre of a beautiful valley, 
with high rugged bluffs rising on all 
sides, and intersected by a clear 
stream of spring water, which fell in 
tiny cascades and little waterfalls, 
turning and twisting like a silver 
snake, stood Swanson's Ranche. The 
low frame building, surrounded on 
four sides by a wide porch, and 
standing on a gentle elevation which 
fell away to the creek, was the home 
of the redoubtable Swanson, who was 
the monarch of all he surveyed for 
miles around. The evening was 
rapidly advancing into night, and the 
large open fireplace, huge and yawn- 
ing, was roaring with the cheerful 
fire which Swanson's obedient squaw 
had built, that her liege lord might 
not be chilled by the cold wind which 
whistled over the plains. 



The floor of the large room, 
covered with fur rugs and huge 
buffalo-skins, was made of pounded 
clay, and the feet of many years had 
hardened it to almost stone-like 
solidity. 

Saddles, lariats, rifles, high boots, 
and all the trappings and harness 
belonging to a cowboy's outfit littered 
the place, and stretched out on the 
robes and furs, in easy, careless atti- 
tudes, lay some half-dozen men. 

Jim Cummings and Dan Moriarity 
were of the number. Thick clouds 
of tobacco smoke curled and eddied 
in the low ceiling, and seated near 
the fire to get the benefit of the light 
were a couple of card-playing ranche- 
men, indulging in a game of Cali- 
fornia Jack. 

Standing with his back to the 



S 'WANS 'ON S RANCHE. 



Si 



blaze, his feet spread apart, and his 
hands deep in his pockets, stood the 
owner of the ranche — Swanson. Cast 
in a Herculean mould, he stood over 
six feet tall, his broad shoulders sur- 
mounted by a neck like a bull, and 
his red, cunning face almost hid from 
sight by the thick, bushy whiskers 
which covered it. 

He had been relating, with great 
gusto, some adventure in which he 
had played a prominent part, and 
raising his broad hand in the air he 
brought it down on a table near him, 
as he exclaimed : 

"And if any detective comes 
skulking around this shanty, I swear 
I'll cut out his sneaking heart, and 
make him eat it raw "—when the 
sound of horses broke the thread of 
his discourse, and a voice was heard 
shouting : 

" Hello-o-o, the house ! " 

" Yes, an' be right smart about it, 
dis chile most froze." 

A young fellow near the door 
sprang to open it, and thrusting his 
head out, said : 

" Come in ; there's no dogs 
around." 

" Dat's all right, honey, we ain't 



got no fear of de hounds, me an' the 
doctor ain't." 

" Keep quiet, you black imp !" said 
the voice which had first been heard. 
" Hobble the nags and bring in my 
saddle, boys." 

"All right, sah ;I's hearin'you,sah." 

To this conversation, which had 
taken place outside, the men in the 
room had listened with great interest. 
Anything was welcome that served 
to break the monotony of ranche life, 
and a stir of expectation went through 
the room as the two strangers were 
heard dismounting. 

The door opened and the new- 
comers entered. 

" By the great horn spoon if this 
ain't the old hoss doctor hisself ! " 
exclaimed Swanson, as he reached 
out his huge paw. " I thought the 
Apaches had lifted your scalp years 
ago." 

" You can't kill a good hoss doctor, 
Swanson," replied the doctor, grasp- 
ing the offered hand and giving it a 
hearty shake. " Good hoss do'ctors 
don't grow on every bush." 

" Boys," said Swanson, turning the 
doctor around. " This hyar gentle- 
man is Doctor Skinner " 



82 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



" Late graduate of the Philadelphia 
Veterinary Surgical Institute. Has 
practised in seventeen States and 
four Territories. Can cure anything 
on hoofs, from the devil to the five- 
legged broncho of Arizona, which has 
four legs, one on each corner, and 
one attached to his left flank. With 
it he can travel faster than the 
swiftest racehorse, and when hunted 
by the native red men he throws it 
over his neck, and smiles urbanely 
upon his baffled pursuers." 

Swanson roared with delight as 
the doctor rolled this off his tongue, 
and slapping him on the back, cried : 

"You're the same old codger. 
Haven't changed an inch in seven 
years. You've got to stay here a 
week, two weeks, a month. I've 
plenty of sick stock, and some of the 
boys have horses that need polish- 
ing." 

" Yes, sah ! " broke in the doctor's 
companion, a full-blooded negro. 
" We's gwine to camp down hyar 
shuah a monf " 

" Hold your tongue, Scip," said 
the doctor. " I'm the talking man 
here. Yes ! gentlemen," addressing 
the attentive cowboys. " I can cure 



anything that touches the ground — 
biped, quadruped, or centipede — 
glanders, botts, greased hoofs, heaves, 
blind staggers, it makes no odds. 
My universal, self-acting, double 
compound elixir of equestrian oint- 
ment will perform a cure in each and 
every case. It is cheap ! It is sure ! 
It is patented ! It is the best, and it 
is here. You may roll up, you may 
tumble up, you may walk up, any 
way to get up, or send your money 
up, and you will receive a two-quart 
bottle of this precious liquid, of which 
I am the sole owner, proprietor, and 
manufacturer." 

Again Swanson expressed his un- 
bounded delight, and the audience 
signified their entire approbation by 
shouting : 

"Go it. old hoss ; keep it up!" 
When the doctor first entered, 
Cummings, who was extended on a 
large bearskin, fastened a searching 
look on him, taking in every feature 
and article of wearing apparel; and 
Moriarity, who was stretched near 
him, regarded the new-comer with 
suspicious eyes; but when they wit- 
nessed the cordial greeting which 
Swanson gave, they dismissed their 



SWANSO.VS RANGHE. 



^ 



suspicions, and entering into the 
spirit of the evening, applauded as 
loudly and noisily as the rest. 

Scip, who had been attending to 
the horses outside, now stuck his 
head through the door and shouted : 

" Tole you what it was, Massa 
Doctor, dis yer chile can't tote dat 
bundle in alone, nohow." 

"All right, Scip, I'll help you," 
and disregarding, with a wave of his 
hands, the proffers of assistance 
which were tendered him, the doctor 
stepped on to the porch and found 
Scip struggling with a large pack, 
strapped to the back of a broncho, 
tugging and jerking, and swearing 
under his breath at " the old fool 
rope." 

Coming close to him the doctor 
said aloud : 

"Be careful, you black imp cf 
Satan ; what are you so rough 
about ? " and then followed in a 
whisper, '' The men are both there, 
Chip." 

Scip, or rather Chip, adopting the 
Same tactics, replied : 

" Honey, I's handlin' dis yeah 
smoof as cotton-seed oil " — whisper- 
ing, "What a rascally-looking lot !" 



The doctor and Scip were none 
other than the two detectives. 
When Chip reached Kansas City he 
hunted around for some suitable 
disguise which would carry him 
through in safety. In his perplexity 
he went to the chief of police, with 
whom he was on the most friendly 
terms, and put the case before him. 

The chief said : 

" About seven years ago there used 
to be an old fraud named Skinner, a 
sort of horse-doctor, who stepped 
somewhat over the line and walked 
off with some other fellow's nag. 
He is now putting in his time at 
Jefferson City. He was hale fellow 
well met with all that gang, especi- 
ally Swanson, and I think if you 
could run down to Jefferson City, 
and put the case before the warden, 
you could get pointers from him." 

That afternoon Chip was in Jeffer- 
son City, and walking over to the 
penitentiary, found the warden 
willing, and Skinner was called to 
the visitor's cage. 

He had three years more to serve, 
and on being told that any service 
he could render the State would be 
taken into account and to his credit, 



8 4 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



he gave Chip a minute and detailed 
description of his costume, manner of 
doing business, and brought up 
many interesting reminiscences, 
which Chip carefully noted. 

Sam, who had a peculiar talent for 
disguises, was to take the part of 
Doctor Skinner, and Chip as his 
negro servant could slip in and out 
without attracting much attention. 

It was in these assumed characters 
that the detectives made their entree 
into Swanson's habitat. 

Further private conversation was 
barred by the massive form of Swan- 
son filling the door, and urging his 
friend the doctor to let " his nigger " 
take charge of the stock. 

" Can't be did, colonel," said the 
doctor ; " can't be trusted alone near 
this pack. Scip has too much love 
for the bottom of the flask to allow 
him too much freedom here." 

"Well, I'll send one of the boys 
out. Hyar, you, Abe ; mosey out 
thar and yank that pack in hyar." 

Abe, a strong, strapping young 
plainsman, lifted the pack to his 
shoulder, and, followed by the " Easy, 
young man ; step lightly ; glass, you 
know ; this side up with care," of the 



doctor, deposited it upon the floor. 
Opening the pack, the doctor held 
aloft a large square bottle, on which 
was pasted a yellow label, " Dr. 
Sfonner's Incomparable Horse HeaL 
cr" commenced rapidly to dilate 
upon the peculiar excellence of the 
nostrum. 

" Gentlemen, what is good for the 
noble brute is good for man. This 
compound, this superior selection of 
seventeen separate solvents, is war- 
ranted to dissipate the most chronic 
complaints. It will incite slumber, 
mend the broken heart, cause the 
hair to grow, is good for chapped 
hands, sore eyes, and ingrowing toe- 
nails. It is a panacea for all evils, and 
a trial will cost you nothing." 

He passed the bottle to Swanson, 
who stood listening to his glib tongue 
in amused wonder, and invited him 
to test the medicine. Nothing loth, 
the giant took a huge drink. 

"Whisky," he shouted, joyfully, 
"the real, old stuff," and smacking 
his lips he again applied them to the 
bottle. It was passed around, and 
the doctor at once became the most 
popular man on the ranche. 

Scip, who had finally succeeded in 



S WANS ON' S RANCHE. 



*5 



securing his horses to his satisfaction, 
during which time he had made a 
tour of the premises and obtained the 
lay of the land, now entered the room, 
and pushing his' way through the 
crowd gathered around the doctor and 
his bottle of "cure all,'' spread his 
hands to the fire, standing beside 
Cummings. 

" Where did you pick up the 
darkey, doctor ? " inquired Swanson, 
designating Scip by a jerk of his 
thumb. 

'' The hard fact is, gentlemen, that 
we picked each other up. I was 1907 
and Scip was 1908." 

"How's that?" 

" I repeat. I was 1907 and Scip 
was 1908." 

" You mean to say you were 
doing " 

" Simply that and nothing more. 
I found a halter in the road one day 
and picked it up, carrying it with me, 
and it wasn't until a most officious 
individual in blue coat and brass 
buttons came along and rudely placed 
a pair of exquisite steel bracelets on 
my delicate wrists, that I learned 
that a horse was tied at the other end 
of the halter, and the gentleman who 



is supposed to dispense justice in 
Kansas City urged me to remove to 
Jefferson City for a time ; that is all. 
The number of my room was 1907, 
and my coloured friend here had the 
apartment next to mine." 

" Yah, yah," laughed Scip ; " we 
bof did our time together, suah." 

This new claim on Swanson's 
friendship had its effect, and the 
generous quantities of whisky which" 
he had swallowed having put him 
into an extraordinary good humour, 
he threw his arms around the doctor 
and vowed he would keep him all his 
life. 

Thus the two detectives, by a bold 
piece of strategy, had gained entrance 
to the express robbers' asylum and 
had been offered the right hand of 
fellowship. The evening wore on, 
cards were produced, and the click of 
the ivory poker chips was heard above 
the low hum of conversation. The 
doctor did not care to take a hand, 
and Scip, apparently tired out with 
his day's journey, had thrown himself 
on a buffalo-robe in a corner, and 
seemed fast asleep. 

The doctor, his eyes half closed, 
and slowly puffing his pipq, closely 



86 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



and keenly eyed every face in the 
room ; but most of all he gazed at 
Swanson, who, partly overcome by 
liquor, was leaning back in an easy, 
cane-bottomed chair, looking into the 
fire. A malignant frown ever and 
anon knit his low brow, and his 
cruel mouth curled so as to show his 
teeth, as his thoughts passed through 
his befuddled brain. 

Cummings and Moriarity, who had 
withdrawn from the main party, had 
their heads together, earnestly en- 
gaged in conversation. Cummings 
was evidently endeavouring to per- 
suade his fainter-hearted comrade to 
do something, for he often bent a 
significant look on Swanson, or 
pointed his thumb towards him, but 
Moriarity, whose eyes were half 
indicative of fear, would shake his 
head as if in expostulation. 

The doctor saw all this through 
his half-closed eyes, and strained his 
ears to catch even the slightest shred 
of their conversation, but the out- 
laws talked in such low tones that he 
was unable to hear anything. 

A glance at Scip, who was gently 
snoring near them, put his mind at 
rest, for he saw that the darkey was 



taking in every word that dropped, 
feigning sleep all the time. 

A sudden movement by some of 
the men roused Swanson, and look- 
ing at a huge silver watch, he ordered 
them all to bed at once ; which 
command was obeyed by all except 
Cummings, Moriarity, the doctor, 
and Scip. 

An inner room, fitted with bunks, 
was used as a dormitory, but the two 
robbers, as special guests, had rooms 
to themselves. Going to a cupboard, 
and bringing out an armful of 
blankets, Swanson threw them on 
the floor. 

" There, my hearty ; you and your 
boy will have to camp out here to- 
night. We're crowded, so make 
yourself comfortable." And then 
bidding them " Good-night," he stag- 
gered to his bed. 

Nothing could suit the detectives 
better than this. A room to them- 
selves, a warm fire, plenty of blankets, 
and no suspicion of their true char- 
acter. 

Smoothing the blankets over tne 
bearskins, the two friends lay down, 
and a whispered conversation com- 
menced. 



S WANS ON' S RANCHE. 



"What were Cummings and 
Moriarity talking about, Chip ? " said 
Sam, in a cautious tone. 

" Cummings wants to rob the old 
man, Swanson. He says he's got 
thousands of dollars salted somewhere 
around here, and thinks they might 
as well make hay while the sun 
shines, but Dan was afraid to do 
it." 

" What a precious pair of rascals ! 
But we can use this idea first-rate to 
get them over the line again." 

" I thought of the same thing as 
they were talking. If you could only 
bring it up without awaking any sus- 



picions, we might offer to help him 
do the job " 

"Trust me for that, old fellow. 
Even if we have to commit actual 
robbery, I'll do it." 

"Well, keep your eyes open, and 
don't be caught sleeping. Go to 
sleep, now I'll keep first watch." 

This was the regular system of the 
two operators. While one slept the 
other kept watch, and to this fact a 
large portion of their successes was 
due. 

The ranche became quiet, its deni- 
zens all sleeping, and the night passed 
without any disturbance. 



38 



CHAPTER XIV 



THE DOCTOR TURNS CONSPIRATOR — THE PLOT TO ROB THE RANCHE. 



The pseudo-doctor had been at the 
ranche a week, during which he had 
become quite chummy with Jim 
Cummings and Dan Moriarity, who, 
finding that time hung very heavily 
on their hands, welcomed the jovial, 
story-telling doctor, and spent most 
of their time in his company. 

Swanson, who was moving his 
stock further west, and making pre- 
parations for the spring round-up, was 
obliged to be in the saddle all day, 
and sometimes late at night. Al- 
though a hard drinker, an unscrupu- 
lous rascal and an inveterate gambler, 
he was a good stock-raiser, and kept 
good care of his cattle. He employed 
a large force of cowboys or herders, 
and, acting himself as captain of the 
round-up, he would absent himself 
from home for days at a time. 



One morning the doctor, flashing 
a significant glance towards Scip, 
which said, " Take your cue and 
follow me," remarked, in a careless 
tone : 

" I reckon the old man must have 
considerable dust salted down by 
this time." 

As the remark was a general one 
made to Cummings, Moriarity, and 
Scip, the latter answered : 

"Yes, sah ; Mass Swanson got a 
pile of gold laid up for a rainy day, 
suah." 

The doctor continued : 

" He's bad more than the average 
run of good luck the last few years. 
He told me the other day that he 
only lost a few head all the year, 
and was just going to ship a big 
lot to Chicago." 



THE DOCTOR TURNS CONSPIRATOR. 



89 



Cummings, blowing a blue column 
of tobacco smoke towards the rafters, 
said : 

" It's always been a question to 
me where he keeps his money. 
There's no bank around here." 

" Oh, he's a shrewd old chap, 
Swanson is," replied the doctor. 
He has a private bank somewhere : 
near here probably." 

" Seems to me that would be 
pretty risky," said Cummings. "If 
he keeps it planted around here, 
what would hinder someone from 
finding the cache and getting off 
with the plunder ?" 

"I made that very remark to 
him," the doctor answered; "and 
he laughed and said it would take 
something smarter than a cowboy or 
an Injun to find it, but there are 
others besides cowboys and Injuns 
that come this way," with a meaning 
smile. Cummings noted the smile, 
and glancing at Moriarity, said : 

" How would you go at it, doctor, 
if you were to make the attempt ?" 

The doctor laughed quietly, as 
\i he appreciated the joke, and lean- 
ing back in his chair, his thumbs 
in the armholes of his vest, his feet 



stretched on a chair before him, he 
answered : 

"Well, Cummings, I don't know 
as I would like to do it. Swanson's 
a good friend of mine, and " 

" Hang it all, man, who the devil 
asked you to do it ?" replied Jim, 
hotly. " I was only joking ; do you 
think I wanted you to " 

" Not at all, my dear fellow, not 
at all," said the doctor, in a soothing 
tone. " No one supposed for a 
minute that you thought of such a 
thing, but if I was going to do a job 
like that I wouldn't care to do it 
alone. Two, certainly not more than 
three, more to help would be neces- 
sary. I would go at it about this 
way : The first thing would be to 
find out where Swanson kept his 
money. It is doubtless kept in close 
proximity to this place, evidently 
well secreted, for Swanson is not a 
man to let his right hand know what 
his left hand is doing. I think I 
would be apt to get him full some 
evening, then let him win a big pot 
from me in poker, and, feigning 
drunkenness, I would watch very 
keenly what he did with the money. 
You may depend on it, it is some- 



9 o 



GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



where in this house. After I ascer- 
tained the hiding-place I would sur- 
prise the old fellow in his sleep with 
the aid of my confederates, and 
gagging him, and then binding his 
arms and feet, would rob his bank 
at my pleasure. That is the way I 
should do it." 

Cummings had followed every 
word, nodding his approval and 
manifesting his interest in various 
ways, and without noticing what he 
was saying, muttered to himself, but 
so loud that the doctor overheard it, 
" Just the way I would do it, and I 
will yet." 

" What makes you think Swanson 
keeps his wealth on the premises, 
doctor ? " asked Moriarity. 

"Safest and most convenient 
place," replied the doctor. "He 
probably has had a special hole or 
cranny made for it, a double wall of 
some room, behind some picture, or 
something like that. I recollect a 
chap that had a picture in his room, 
fastened close to the wall just like 
that picture there," and the Doctor 
pointed to the only picture in the 
house, a representation of the ranche 
painted by some wandering artist. 



" It was a painting of a man's face, 
and by pressing the eye a spring was 
released and the whole picture swung 
back, showing a cavity back of it in 
which the old miser kept his 
valuables." 

Scip, who was always cutting some 
caper, here rose to his feet, saying : 

"Dunno, but mebbe Massa Swan- 
son keep he truck behind that 
chromiow. Heah now, I'se Massa 
Swanson," and Scip imitated Swan- 
son's gait. " I'se playin' poker wid 
you gemmen. I'se out o' cash ; 
Massa Cummins thar, he got a king 
full, and lay ovah my bob-tail flush. 
I say, ' Hole on thar, Massa Cum- 
mins, I'se got to unl-ock de 
combinashun of my safe.' Den I 
walk ovah to de picture, an' I hit a 
crack with my fist, so. Well, I be 
damned ! " 

The rest sprang to their feet in 
astonishment, for, illustrating his 
remarks, Scip had struck the centre 
of the oil painting with his hand, and 
stood dumb-founded, for the picture 
noiselessly swung forward, and dis- 
closed a large recess in the wall in 
which little sacks of some sort of 
money were piled one on the other 



THE DOCTOR TURNS CONSPIRATOR. 



Scip, who was evidently the most 
surprised one of the party, was, how- 
ever, the first to regain his 
composure. Pushing the frame to 
its place again, the sharp click of the 
spring lock was heard, and turning 
swiftly around he caught meaning 
glances passing between Cummings 
and Moriarity. 

" Humph ! " he said to himself, 
" Swanson's money is as good as 
gone now unless we nab these two 
rascals soon." 

The doctor, who had reseated 
himself, remarked, in a tone of 
wonder— 

"Really, this is a most remarkable 
coincidence, most remarkable indeed." 

"Oh! shut up that mummery, 
doctor," broke in Cummings, rough- 
ly, as he reared his head and squared 
his shoulders, evidently intending to 
make a strike. " You and your 
nigger knew all about this, so you 
may as well own up." 

The doctor, receiving a nod from 
Scip, leaned forward, his eyes fast- 
ened intently on Cummings, and his 
Voice, sunk to a low whisper, replied : 

"And you may as well own up, 
too. We're all in the same boat. 



That is just what you are here for, 
and if you think I am fool enough 
to loaf around this hole a week for 
nothing, it shows you don't know 
me. I need you two, and you need 
Scip and myself. Come, is it a 
bargain ? " 

In answer Cummings held out his 
hand. The doctor grasped it 
cordially, and holding his left hand 
out to Moriarity, who took it, said : 

"We four, for Scip is my pal, can 
do it O K. We can " 

"Why not do it now," said Cum- 
mings, with energy. " Our horses 
are here, and we can put a whole day 
between us and the ranche before 
Swanson returns." 

Now this was just what Sam (the 
doctor) did not want. During the 
week which he and Scip had been 
spending at the ranche, seven or 
eight new men had been taken in by 
Swanson, who, as was before said, 
was getting in shape for the spring 
round-up. Of these new men six 
were Pinkerton detectives, and at 
this particular time were several 
miles from the ranche herding cattle. 
It was necessary that these men 
should be notified by Scip of the 



gi 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



plot, and be ready to spring 
the trap as soon as the game was 
in the toils. For this reason the 
doctor did not want the robbery to 
occur before the next night at the 
earliest. So shaking his head 
decidedly, he said in an emphatic 
manner : 

" No. it won't do ; it would spoil 
the whole thing. All the money is 
in the shape of specie, and tied up in 
bags. We have nothing in which to 
carry it, and would have to load it as 
it is on our horses. Besides, Swanson 
is expecting a large payment for his 
last shipment to-day. I know this, 
as he told me so, and we may make 
ten thousand dollars by waiting a 
day longer." 

After some demurring, Cummings 
acquiesced, although with very bad 
grace. 

" All right, have it your own way ; 
but no later than to-morrow night." 

" To-morrow night it is, then," said 
the doctor ; then, as if struck with 
some suspicion, he turned suddenly 
and said : 

" And the Lord have mercy on 
your soul, Jim Cummings, if you or 
your mate play us false." 



" No fear of that, doctor," replied 
the train robber. "You'll find ma 
true blue at any rate — you're a man 
after my own heart. I wish I had 
known you sooner." 

" Why ? " 

" Because, last October I did a little 
job, and was almost nabbed because 
one of my pals weakened." 

Moriarity looked somewhat con- 
fused, but apparently not noticing it 
(but in reality nothing escaped the 
hawk eyes of the disguised detective) 
the doctor said : 

" Last October ! By jove, you aye 
the Jim Cummings that did up the 
Adams Express Co. The papers 
were full of it. If there is any man I 
have wanted to meet it is you." And 
the doctor with great enthusiasm 
grasped the express robber's hand 
with every expression of intense ad- 
miration beaming from his eyes. 

His vanity tickled by this expres- 
sion of homage, Cummings drew 
himself to his full height, and 
replied : 

" Well, yes, I did that work, and if 
you will stick by me we can work 
another one just as good." 

" I'm with you, and when I say 



THE DOCTOR TURNS CONSPIRATOR. 



93 



' I,' it means Scip, too, for he is a 
treasure." 

Scip ducked his head as he said : 

"We's a hull team and a dog under 
the waggin, but, Massa Doctor, I'se 
goin' out to look after the hosses," 
and he left the room. 

Moriarity, picking up a rifle and 
cartridge belt, said he was going out 
for a canter and sec what luck he 
could have in the way of game. 
This left Cummings and the doctor 
alone. 

Glancing out of the window they 
saw Moriarity gallop off, and a short 
distance behind Scip on his horse, 
following. 

" Where did you pick up that dar- 
key, doctor ? " asked Cummings. 

"In St. Louis, about five years ago. 
He is a good one, faithful and brave, 
and will never squeal. He is just the 
man to help us on this new deal." 

The subject of this conversation 
was all this time galloping over the 
level prairie, following closely behind 
Moriarity, who, with his rifle thrown 
across the pommel of his saddle, wrs 
on the look out for anything in the 
Way of game which might come 
along. 



As they rode along they would meet 
one of the herders sitting at ease on 
his horse, or galloping madly after 
some refractory steer that was making 
a break for freedom. They had in 
their ride passed four of these men, 
and to every one Scip gave a signal, 
merely the wave of his hand in a 
peculiar manner, to which the men 
had responded likewise. They were 
nearing another stand jtherancheman, 
astride his pony, stood against the 
sky like a bronze bit of sculpture. 
As they came within speaking dis- 
tance Scip, drawing in his horse, 
said : 

" I's goin' to loaf aroun' heah a bit, 
Massa Dan. I'll wait fer you." 

"All right," responded Dan, who 
gave his horse the spurs and swiftly 
disappeared behind the swell of land. 
Scip, walking his nag, drew near the 
cowboy. 

" Hye thar, honey, got any 
'bacco ? " 

" Plenty, blacky, plenty." 

" Den give me some." 

"What is it, Chip?" asked the 
cowboy as Moriarity swept out of 
sight. 

" We have work to do to-morrow 



94 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



night, Barney ; you must get the boys 
together, go down the divide to the 
ford and cross over, ready to come 
when I whistle. To-morrow night 
we must bag our game." 

" We will be there, Chip, and I am 
glad of it, for it's devilish monotonous 
staying out here all day." 

"There will be a break in the 
monotony that will suit you. Be 
sure to be at the other side of the 
ford before twelve o'clock to-morrow 
night." 

Chip then explained to him the 
details of the projected robbery and 
the plan of capturing the outlaws as 
soon as they had crossed into Kansas, 
for the divide was the southern State 
line of that State. 

Barney, again repeating his state- 
ment that he would be there, loped 
his horse after some cattle that were 
straying too far off, and Chip, or rather 
Scip, stretching himself on the ground, 
awaited Moriarity's return. 

They arrived home in time for 
supper, and found Swanson had 
returned from Blue Jacket, where he 
had gone that morning ; and the fact 



that he had made up beds for the 
doctor and Scip in a side room was 
accepted by Cummings as proof that 
he had received the money he 
expected, and wanted the room to 
himself that he might put his wealth 
behind the picture unobserved. 

The next day the ranche was 
deserted save by the four con- 
spirators, who made preparations for 
the robbery of Swanson's money, 
which was to take place that night. 
The picture was tried until the proper 
point for touching the hidden spring 
was found. A supply of food was 
quietly secreted in a bag and hid near 
the divide. Some heavy flour sacks 
made of canvas were ripped open, and 
suitable bags for carrying the money 
were made from the pieces. All 
these preparations were made without 
interruption or discovery, and except- 
ing a long ride which Scip made in 
the afternoon, ostensibly for the pur- 
pose of exercising his horse, but really 
that he might again see the detectives 
who were acting as cowboys, the dav 
wore along without any incident cut 
of the ordinary wajr. 



95 



CHAPTER XV 

THE ROBBERY— CUMMINGs' NARROW ESCAPE — THE CAPTURE OF MORIARITV- 
JIM CUMMINGS SUPS FROM THE TOILS — MR. PxNKERTON TAKES A HAND. 



The ranche was asleep. Heavy 
breathing and deep snores from the 
sleeping-rooms indicated that slumber 
had fallen on all the inmates. Swan- 
son, who had been repeatedly urged 
to drink by Cummings and Moriarity, 
and had accepted every invitation, 
was stretched on his back — a drunken 
mass of stupidity. 

The stamping of the horses and 
dutant movements of the thousands 
of head of cattle alone broke the 
silence of the night, and the darkness 
had cast its pall over the entire 
place. 

In the large room Scip and the 
doctor coolly and calmly awaited the 
hour of their triumph. Fear was a 
stranger to both, and as they quietly 
conversed in whispered accents it 
would be difficult to believe -that they 



were about to engage in a most 
desperate enterprise. In another 
room lay Cummings and Moriarity, 
completely dressed. The former, 
with his habitual sang-froid, was 
whispering to Moriarity, who, some- 
what excited, was calmed by his 
companion's nonchalance, and as 
the hour for the work drew near 
became like him. 

A stealthy step, noiseless as an 
Indian's, interrupted the conver- 
sation, and the faint rap on the 
door gave them the long-looked-for 
signal. 

Creeping on their hands and 
knees down the hall past Swanson's 
door, through which his hoarse 
breathing could be heard, the two 
men entered the room in which 
the treasure was stored. The dying 



9 6 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY, 



embers in the fireplace created a 
dull glow, showing the doctor and 
Scip, booted and spurred, standing 
in the centre of the room. Softly 
Cummings approached the picture, 
his finger found the spring through 
the canvas, and, pressing it hard, the 
frame swung slowly forward as if 
reluctant to give up its precious 
charge. 

Rapidly taking one bag after 
another from the cavity, Cummings 
passed them to Moriarity, who 
placed them in the bags prepared for 

them. 

The doctor and Scip had gone 
outside and now brought the four 
horses nearer the door. This they 
did that they might have as little to 
do with the robbery as possible, and 
they had so managed it that Jim 
and Dan had done the actual theft. 

Moriarity had brought two of the 
bags which the doctor had placed 
on his own and Scip's horse, and 
had gone back for the third, when 
the door from the inner hall 
'opened, and, his tangled hair 
hanging in mats oyer his eyes, his 
clothing disarranged, his face purple 
with rage and a revolver in each 



hand, Swanson appeared before the 
surprised robbers. 

The dim light of the fire showed 
the picture open, and befogged as 
his brain was by the whisky, he 
realised he was being robbed, and 
with a roar like a mad bull he 
sprang upon Cummings. 

Swift as a flash Cummings' fist, 
sent forward with all the force of 
his powerful frame, struck the 
rancheman under the ear, and tossing 
his arms above his head he fell like 
a dead man on the floor. 

The sound of many feet hurrying 
to the scene was heard and, leaving 
the bag which he was about to take 
when Swanson sprang on him, Cum- 
mings bolted through the door, 
vaulted on his horse, and followed 
closely by his companions, rushed 
swiftly into the darkness. It was 
none too soon, for at once a half 
score ox men poured from the house, 
and the vicious snap of the rifles, 
followed by the pin-n-n-g of the 
bullets, as they cut the air close to 
their heads, caused the four men 
to drive their spurs into their 
ponies until the blood dropped 
from their lacerated flanks. 



THE ROBBER? 



97 



Galloping swiftly to where the herd- 
ing ponies were tethered, Cummings 
sprang from his horse, and, whipping 
out his keen bowie knife, cut lariat 
after lariat, stampeding the whole 
herd. This done he remounted his 
horse, saying : 

"Now we can take our time ; they 
won't get a horse to saddle under an 
hour," cantered off with an easy, 
strength-saving gait. 

"Curse that Swanson!" broke in 
Cummings, after riding in silence a 
few moments. " Curse him ! he kept 
me from making an extra ten thou- 
sand by his cursed appearance." 

Neither the doctor nor Scip replied 
to this outburst from the disap- 
pointed outlaw. The time for action 
was coming, and as fast as their horses 
could gallop, the two outlaws were 
riding towards the trap laid for them. 
Leaning forward, with the skill of an 
expert pickpocket, Scip drew the 
revolver from the holster on Cum- 
mings' saddle, and dropped it in the 
dry grass which bordered the trail. 
Watching his opportunity, he pushed 
his horse against Moriarity, and in 
the slight confusion caused by the 
colli i>n, he managed to obtain Dan's 



revolver in the same way. A whisper 
• told the doctor that this had been 
done, and the disguised detectives 
each rode bsside the man which they 
were to capture, the doctor keeping 
his eye on Cummings, and Scip ready 
to pull Moriarity off his horse at the 
proper time.* 

On the other side of the river or 
divide dark shadows stood under the 
few cottonwood trees, motionless and 
quiet as the grave ; their ears strained 
to catch the first sound of their 
quarry, and their hands grasped the 
ready revolver. 

The far-off sound of galloping 
horses warned them that the time to 
act had come, and soon the splashing 
of the water in the creek told them 
to stand ready. 

The voice of Scip was heard saying 
in loud tones : 

" Heah's de trail, gemmen, ovah d:3 
yah way." 

The scurry of hoofs as the horses 
clambered up the steep banks, the 
low-spoken words of encouragement 
which were given their steeds by the 
robbers, and suddenly the shrill 
whistle giving the long-lookcd-for 
signal rang out on the still air. 

i) 



9* 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



As Scip gave the whistle he passed 
his arm around Moriarity, saying : 

" Dan Moriarity, you are my 
prisoner." 

His words were instantly followed 
by the rush of the detectives who had 
been lving in ambush, and Moriarity, 
taken completely by surprise, threw 
his hands above his head in token of 
surrender, and then passively sub- 
mitted to having the darbies snapped 
on his wrists. 

Cummings, at the first note of 
the vibrating signal, had his eyes 
opened. His hand flew to his holster, 
and the mocking laugh of the detect- 
ives followed the discovery that his 
revolver was gone. 

Sam laid his hand on the outlaw's 
shoulder, and pressing his revolver 
against his head, called on him to 
surrender. 

Throwing his hands over his head 
as Moriarity had done, he suddenly 
brought his clenched fists full against 
Sam's temple, putting into the blow 
the strength of three men. Without 
a groan the detective's head sank 
forward, his revolver dropped from 
his nerveless grasp, and he lay uncon- 
scious on his horse's back. 



A yell of exultation, and Cum- 
mings, turning his horse, dashed down 
the bank, through the stream, and 
disappeared in the darkness on the 
other side. 

Instantly the detectives followed, 
leaving two men to guard Moriarity, 
for in the darkness Sam's condition 
was not noticed ; but seeing the folly 
of attempting a pursuit in so dark a 
night, Chip's whistle recalled them, 
and the chagrined and disappointed 
operatives gathered around the 
cottonwood trees. 

Sam, who had merely been 
stunned, soon recovered, and with 
the aid of some brandy Richard was 
himself once more. 

The notorious Jim Cummings had 
escaped, but two of his accomplices, 
Cook and Moriarity, were in the 
clutches of the law. 

Dan maintained a dogged silence 
as the cavalcade cantered towards 
Kansas City, nor did he speak a word 
until he was safe behind the bars in 
that city. 

" You have caught me by a dirty, 
shabby trick, but you will never lay 
your hands on Jim Cummings," he 
boasted. 



THE ROBBERY 



<M 



To this Chip replied, with a smile, 

•We'll see, Daniel ; we'll see. Make 

vourself comfortable, for you will 

stav here a good long time, my cock 

robin." 

A growl and a curse was all that 
Dan deigned to answer, and turning 
on his heel Chip left the prison. 

Mr. Pinkerton, who had received 
almost daily reports of what had 
occurred, which reports Chip had 
contrived to mail through some one 
of the detectives disguised as a cow- 
boy, now telegraphed that he would 
be in Kansas City the following 
night. Chip and Sam met him at 
the railway station, and he accom- 
panied them to Chip's room. 

A full and detailed recital of all 
that occurred was given him by his 
subordinates, who then put the case 
in his hands. 

"Boys," he said, "we. must get 
one of these men, either Cook or 
Mnriarity, to squeal." 

'' They are both afraid of Jim 
Cummings ; I can see that in every 
word they speak," said Chip ; " they 
would rather go to Jefferson City 
than turn State's evidence." 

" We must work on them in some 



other manner, then. Sam," turning 
to the detective, " are you a good 
hand at forgery ? " 

"I can imitate most any one's 
handwriting," said Sam. 

" Sit down and I will dictate a 
letter to you." 

Sam, taking some paper from the 
table, wrote as Mr. Pinkerton dictated. 
" Mr. William Pinkerton, 

" Dear Sir, — The letter I wrote to 
St. Louis Globe- Democrat is all 
correct, excepting that I did not tell 
who plugged the bell-cord. The man 
Dan Moriarity, who is now under 
arrest in Kansas City, was the man 
who did it. He also forged the order 
which I gave to the messenger 
Fotheringham, and was the one who 
planned the robbery. I make this 
statement relying" on your word of 
honour to secure me a light sentence 
if I turn State's evidence, and give 
information leading to the recev? ? 
of the money which I secured. 
" Yours trulv, 

" Jim Ci'V.^r-f -~-.'' 

Mr. Pinkerton, taking from his 
pocket-book the train robber's IcL't^r 
which he wrote to the St. I.oua 
newspaper, handed it to Sam. 

n 2 



100 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



" There is a letter in Jim's hand- 
writing. Now sit down a.id write 
this letter in the same hand." 

In an hour the detective had com- 
pleted his work and laid the forged 
letter before his superior. It was 



cleverly done, and Mr, Pinkerton felt 
satisfied. 

" Now for the gaol," he said, and 
accompanied by his two " bowers," as 
he often called them, he left the room 
and walked to the Kansas City gaol. 



101 



CHAPTER XVI. 



MORIARITY IX THE SWEAT BOX — THE SUCCESS OF THE FORGED LETTER 

— MORIARITY CONFESSES. 



Dan Moriarity, seated on a bare 
plank bench in his cell, was passing 
away the weary hours in figuring 
how he was to get out of the bad 
scrape into which he had plunged. 
He was now fully satisfied that the 
detectives were very certain that he 
had a hand in the express-car robbery,, 
but how did they get hold of that 
dangerous fact ? Not through Cook, 
for since his incarceration in the gaol 
Dan had talked with Cook in the 
corridors, and Cook had sworn by all 
that was good and holy that he had 
not divulged a single word ; and 
knowing that Cook stood in mortal 
fear of Cummings, as did he himself, 
Dan believed him. 

It was not at all probable that 
eitner Haight or Weaver had given 
the thing away in Chicago, for Dan 



knew from Cummings that they had 
not been disturbed, and Cummings 
had not, or would not, have given 
any information. Then how did the 
cursed " man-hunters " find out that 
he had helped in the affair ? 

Dan was busily engaged in trying 
to solve this knotty question, when 
the bailiff in charge entered the door 
and told Dan to follow him to the 
office. 

When Dan reached the room he 
found three gentlemen awaiting him, 
all strange faces to the robber. The 
eldest of the three, as he came in, 
pointed to a chair, and with com- 
manding brevity and in a tone which 
indicated that he was used to being 
obeyed, told him to sit down. 

The full glare of the light stream- 
ing in through the window fell full 



102 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



upon his face, while the remainder of 
the party, their faces turned towards 
him, were comparatively in the 
shadow, thus having him at a dis- 
advantage. As was before remarked, 
Moriarity possessed a certain amount 
of bull courage, and seeing he was in 
for it, and feeling that he was to be 
put through the sweating process, he 
sat erect in his chair, his lips com- 
pressed and his whole demeanour 
that of a cornered man determined to 
fight. 

Mr. Pinkerton saw that, and with 
courteous suavity inquired, " Is this 
Mr. Moriarity ? " 

" What's the use of asking me ? 
You know well enough who I am," 
replied Dan, in short, curt syllables. 

" Of course, of course ; but I 
thought I might be mistaken." 

"Well, you aren't." 

" Now, Mr. Moriarity, I think, if 
you are inclined to, you can get your- 
self out of this scrape." 

" Ya-as, I suppose so." 

" You will let me introduce my- 
self. My name is William Pinker- 
ton." 

Dan looked at the great detective 
with interest and a certain amount of 



awe, which, however, he quickly 
overcame, and determined to keep a 
stiffer upper lip than ever. 

"Oh! You're Billy Pinkerton, 
are you ? " 

"Yes, I am Billy Pinkerton, and 
I've been hunting for you for some 
time." 

" Well, you ought to be satisfied ; 
you've caught me." 

" More than satisfied, Mr. Mori- 
arity, for I've caught your friend too." 

" Cook ? " 

" Oh, he was gaoled before you." 

" You don't mean Jim ? " 

" Exactly." 

" You can't stuff me with any such 
yarn as that." 

" Would you like to see him ? " 
asked Mr. Pinkerton, quickly. 

" Seeing's believing." 

Turning to the bailiff, Mr. Pinker- 
ton inquired : 

"What cell is Jim Cummings in?" 

" Forty-three, sir." 

" Will you take us there ? " 

" Yes, sir. This way, please." 

The detectives, with Moriarity, 
followed the turnkey and passing the 
entire length of the corridor, paused 
in front of cell forty-three. 



MORIARITY CONFESSES. 



103 



The door of solid sheet steel had 
a small circular opening in it through 
which the guards could inspect their 
prisoners. 

Opening this Mr. Pinkerton looked 
in, and stepping back, told Moriarity 
to step forward. 

Dan applied his eye to the opening, 
and in surprised tones exclaimed, 
" By God, it is Jim ! " 

He again looked, and clenching his 
fist pounded on the door. " Jim ! 
Jim!" he cried. ,: They got you 
at " 

" Here, none of that," said the 
bailiff, in a gruff tone. " None of 
that, I say." And taking Dan by the 
arm he marched him back to the 
office. 

" You see, Mr. Moriarity, I told 
the truth," said Mr. Pinkerton in a 
pleasant voice. 

" Looks like it," growled Dan. 
" But I don't see how the devil you 
did it." 

'• Very easily done. He gave him- 
sj'.i" up." 

" What's that ? " shouted Dan, as 
he almost bounded from his chair. 

" He gave himself up, I said," 
repeated Mr. Pinkerton. 



"Jim Cummings gave himself up !" 
said Dan, slowly, as if trying to grasp 
the idea. 

" Exactly. He saw we had him, 
and that he couldn't get away, so to 
make his sentence as light as possible 
he did the best thing he could do, and 
surrendered." 

Almost dumbfounded by this sur- 
prise, Dan sat speechless and stared 
blankly at the detective. 

" Do you know, Mr. Moriarity," 
Mr. Pinkerton continued, "you strike 
me as being remarkably clever." 

Arousing himself, Dan answered in 
a savage tone : 

" What are you driving at now ? " 

" I mean that up to the time that 
Cummings surrendered himself we 
thought he was the principal man in 
the case, the prime mover and director 
of the whole affair, but now we find 
we are mistaken. That is why I say 
you are clever You simply used 
him as a catspaw, and played hide 
and seek with our whole for^e ; and 
the man that can do that as long as 
you did is remarkably clever." And 
Mr. Pinkerton smiled admiringly at 
the man who sat before him. 

Puzzled at the words, and trying 



!&4 



TIlEr GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS R OS BERT. 



to see beneath the surface, Dan said : 
" Oh ! come now, stop your chaffing ; 
I won't squeal, and you can't make 
me. What do you want me for, 
any way?" 

Mr. Pinkerton's face became stern, 
and dropping the tone of levity 
which he had employed, he opened 
the letter Sam had forged, and sud- 
denly handing it to Dan, said : 

"We want to know if what Jim 
Cummings says there is true." 

Somewhat impressed by Mr. 
Pinkerton's manner, Dan commenced 
to read the letter. 

At first he hardly understood its 
purport, but slowly the realisation of 
his friend's treachery came over him, 
and springing to his feet he brought 
his fist down on the chair and shouted 
in angry tones : 

"It's a damned lie ! " 
Without noticing the bailiff or 
the detectives, he paced the floor 
with angry strides, his eyes flashing 
ana the veins in his forehead 
swelling until they stcod out like 
whipcords. 

The bailiff, at a sign from Mr. 
Pinkerton, stationed himself at the 
door, but too excited to notice the 



movement, Dan continued to walk 
to and fro like a caged lion. 

"That is why he gave himself 
up, the coward — the lying turn- 
tale ! The treacherous dog ! Swear- 
ing it off on me to save a few yea^s 
of his miserable life out of gaol. See 
here ! " stopping suddenly before 
Mr. Pinkerton. " That traitor made 
me swear I would never squeal. 
All I got out of the whole swag was 
two thousand dollais, but even then, 
if he had done the square thing I 
would have kept mum, though I 
were sent down to rock-pile. But 
the man that would play that low, 
scaly trick on me is going to suffer 
for it. What do you want to know ? " 
" Now you are getting sensible," 
said Mr. Pinkerton. "We want to 
get the money. You know where 
it is ? We know that last October 
a valise was sent to you from 
St. Louis to Leavenworth, which 
you were to give to Cook. We 
know that Cook received some of 
the stolen money. You had some, 
too. We have shadowed you all 
over Kansas City. You have been 
seen in the White Elephant playing 
faro ; you were followed to the 



MORIARITY CONFESSES. 



105 



widow's fortune-telling room. We 
know where you lived, and have 
letters which you received from 
Jim Cummings." 

"That isn't his name," broke 
in Dan. 

Mr. Pinkerton stopped. He saw 
he had Dan up to the proper point, 
and where before he would have 
died rather than given a grain of 
information in connection with the 
case, he was now anxious to tell 
all he knew of it. Dan continued: 

" Jim Cummings isn't his right 
name any more'n it's mine. His 
name is Fred Wittrock, and he 
lives in Chicago." 

" Where ? " 

"At West Lake Street. 

"Will you swear to that?" 

" Yes, I will ; he runs a coalyard 
there — he and a man named 
Weaver. I had nothing to do 
with robbing the car. It was all 
done before I ran across Wittrock 
near Pacific, and he gave me $2,000 
to keep my mouth shut and help 
plant the plunder." 

" Do you know where it is 
planted ? " 

" Pa.rt of it, yes. Weaver and 



another fellow named Haight have 
some hid in Chicago. Some is hid in 
the graveyard near Leavenworth, and 
some of it behind Cook's cooper-shop." 

" Has Fotheringham got any of it ? " 

" Fotheringham hadn't anything 
to do with it — any more'n you did — - 
Wittrock knocked him down, and 
he couldn't help himself." 

" Mr. Moriarity, if all this is true, 
you will be benefited by the informa- 
tion you have given." Then turning 
to the bailiff, he said, " We are 
through now." Moriarity, still 
cursing Cummings, was led back to 
the cell, and the detectives left the 
gaol for Chip's boarding-house. 

"It's plain sailing now, boys," 
said Mr. Pinkerton ; " this end has 
been worked dry, and you must 
return to Chicago with me. Cum- 
mings, or rather Wittrock, if Mori- 
arity has spoken the truth, will 
certainly make for Chicago, and 
you must be ready for him." 

The next- day the three detectives 
were on their way to Chicago, leaving 
Barney, who had played the part of 
Jim Cummings in cell forty-three, 
to remain in Kansas City and hunt 
for the "planted swag." 



Io6 



CHAPTER XVII. 

JIM CUMMINGS IN CHICAGO — THE SPOTTED HOUSE— SHADOWED BY CHIP- 
JIM CUMMINGS ARRESTED. 



When Jim Cummings, by his bold 
strike for liberty, escaped the trap set 
for him, he pushed his horse to its 
highest speed until he had put miles 
between himself and the spot where 
the detectives had made the attempt 
to capture him. 

He saw that Dan was captured, and 
with Cook also in gaol he felt the toils 
of the law tightening around him. 
He must get out of the United 
States. To Canada, Mexico, Brazil, 
it mattered little, but he must first 
secure some of the money he had 
taken from the express car. To go 
to Kansas City or Leavenworth to 
raise it was like putting his head into 
the noose. 

Chicago was the only place open 
for him, and to Chicago he must go 
as fast as horse and steam could get 
him there. 



While he was thinking of all these 
things his horse was plunging 
through the dark over the plain, 
skirting the timber, dashing through 
streams of water without staying his 
speed, and at last the ring of its hoofs 
striking the steel rail, and the crunch- 
ing of the gravel, informed Jim that 
he was crossing a railroad track. 

He pulled in his panting steed, 
and, far on the horizon, he saw the 
approaching head-light of an engine. 

In the hurry and confusion in- 
cident to his escape, the outlaw had 
lost his bearings, but knew that this 
must be the M., T & K. R. R., and 
shining over the head-light he saw 
the Great Dipper circling in the 
heavens. 

The train was, then, a south-bound 
train, either passenger or freight. 
Looking south along the track, he 



JIM CUMMINGS ARRESTED. 



107 



spied a small light twinkling through 
the night ; and now, having re- 
covered his reckoning, he surmised 
it was the water-tank some miles 
below Blue Jacket. 

He must reach that before the train 
arrived. Putting spurs to his horse, 
he flew down the track, the gravel 
flying in all directions, his sure-footed 
animal keeping the ties, nor did he 
pull rein or slack his speed until the 
large tank of the water station rose 
above him. Jumping from his horse, 
he walked to the keeper's shanty. 
The man was awake and trimming 
his lantern, nor did he exhibit any 
surprise at the advent of his belated 
visitor. 

" What train is this coming ? " 
asked Jim. 

" Galveston express," answered the 
man. 

" Does she take water here ? " 

" Every time." 

" By jove ! that's lucky I was on 
my way to Blue Jacket to catch it, 
and got turned around." 

"Where's your horse?" 

" Out near the tank. I will be back 
in five days, and if you will take care 
of it I will make it all right for you." 



" That's OK. I often do that for 
the boys ; but here's your train." 

The long train of cars drew up and 
came to a standstill as Jim left the 
shanty. Climbing aboard the smoker, 
he found a seat, and was soon on the 
way to Galveston. Arriving there, 
he took a gulf steamer to New 
Orleans, where he boarded an Illinois 
Central train and came to Chicago, 
where he arrived a week after his 
escape from the detectives. 

Late in the evening of the day 
on which he arrived he boarded 
a West Lake Street car and jumped 
off at — Lake Street, knocked at 
the door of a small frame build- 
ing over which was the sign, " F 
Wittrock and Co. Hard and Soft 
Coal." 

No lights were visible, and for 
some time no answer came. Finally 
the noise of 1 shuffling feet were heard, 
and a clear voice inquired : 

"Who's ther e/ ?" 

" It is I ; be not afraid," answered 
Cummings. 

'^Thunder and lightning, it's 
Fred ! " exclaimed the voice in 
accents of great astonishment. 

" Well, why the devil don't you 



108 THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY, 



let me in, then ? " asked Cummings, 
his mouth close to the keyhole. 

" Not the front door, Fred. Go to 
the corner, then up the cross street, 
andcome'back through the coal-yard." 

Cummings did as he was told, and 
entering the yard was met by 
Weaver, who dragged him into the 
house, and after carefully closing the 
door, lit the lamp and said : 

" Dan's arrested." 

" Tell me something I don't know, 
you fool." 

" So is Cook." 

" If you have any news to tell me, 
out with it ; if you haven't, go get 
the money. This cursed country is 
getting too hot for me. I'm off for 
Brazil." 

" The money is safe. Haight will 
be here soon. You are safe here." 

" Don't you be too sure about that. 
I thought I was safe down at Swan- 
son's ranche, and damn it, two of 
those Pinkerton detectives ate with 
me, slept with me, and gambled with 
me. They had their hands on me 
once, but I floored one and got away. 
Dan, the coward, threw up his hand 
the first bluff, and was walked off 
with the darbies on him." 



"Jim, suppose he should turn 
informer ? " 

A terrible frown blackened the 
outlaw's brow, his eyes became hard 
and steely, and raising his hand 
above his head, he said : 

" So help me God, I would hunt 
him up, tear his cowardly heart from 
his breast, and choke him to death 
with it, if I had to go to prison to do 
it and was hung for it." 

An involuntary shudder passed 
through Weaver as he heard these 
fearful words, and he hastened to 
say : 

" No danger of Dan's squealing. 
Fred.. He's true blue." 

" If he don't give the Express 
robbery away he can easily get out of 
this other scrape. You see, we had 
a lay to get away with Swanson's 
money, and the two detectives went 
in with us. That is how they got 
Dan, and nearly captured me. If 
Dan keeps his mouth shut they can't 
prove anything against him on 
account of the Adams Express affair. 
So, you see, if he is wise he will keep 
mum." 

While the two men were thus 
conversing, Chip and Sam were 



yiM CUMMlNGS ARRESTMti. 



109 



seated before an open window on the 
second floor of the house opposite the 
coal office. The city directory 
readily gave them the address of 
Wittrock's coalyard, and securing this 
room, a constant watch had been 
kept on the spotted house. 

Nothing suspicious had been noted 
during the day ; customers had 
passed in and out, and Sam had even 
bought a half ton of coal, which was 
carried to his room. The two men 
who ran the coalyard, whose names 
were found to be Weaver and 
Haight, were well spoken of in the 
neighbourhood, and did not look to * 
be the sort of stuff out of which 
train robbers were manufactured. 

While buying the coal Sam had 
purposely called Weaver " Mr. Witt- 
rock." 

" That isn't my name," said 
Weaver "Me and my pardner 
bought out Wittrock last October." 

" Excuse me," said Sam ; " I saw 
the name over the door, and thought 
you were the gentleman." 

'• We don't like to pull down the 
sign. People know the yard by that 
name, an' we don't care, so long as 
they buy the coal." 



This was said so frankly and 
openly that Sam almost believed it 
to be true. But the ca;e was begin- 
ning to be too interesting to allow 
risks to be taken, so the detectives 
kept their long and tedious watch 
night and day. They had failed to 
see Cummings when he leaped from 
the car, for a team crossing the track 
had delayed the car long enough for 
him to get into the shadows on the 
other side of the street, so that the 
detectives little knew that the man 
they wanted was only just across the 
street from them. 

They recognised Haight when he 
let himself in with a latchkey, but as 
this was not unusual, they thought 
little of it. 

When Cummings left the coal 
office he passed through the alley, 
and going south to Randolph Street, 
returned to the hotel for the night. 

The next day two of the Pinkerton 
force relieved Sam and Chip, who 
immediately went to their room at 
the Commercial Hotel, where they 
boarded. 

As Chip was eating his supper that 
evening, and glancing over the Even- 
ing Journal, a large broad-shouldered 



no 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY 



man, wearing a heavy moustache, 
passed the table, and seating himself 
at another one, faced the detective. 

It was part of Chip's religion never 
to allow any man to pass him or 
remain near him without looking at 
him carefully, so lowering the paper 
Until his eye could see just above the 
upper edge, he glanced at the new- 
comer. A thrill like an electric shock j 
passed through him, for in every 
feature, except the heavy moustache, 
Chip saw Jim Cummings, the Adams 
Express robber. 

The broad girth of his shoulders, 
the triangular gold-filling of his front 
tooth, the peculiar manner of hanging 
his head slightly on side as if he were 
a trifle deaf, all belonged to Jim 
Cummings — all but the moustache. 
Was it real or false ? If real, the man 
was not the noted robber ; but if false 
— well, if it were false, Chip had a bit 
of paper in his pocket which would 
take it off. 

Re felt in his packet for the war- 
rant, and to his disgust recollected 
thai Sam had it- 
He could do nothing without it. 
He timed his s. upper so nicely with 
that of the suspected man that they 



both rose together, Chip passing out 
first ; but going down the stairs he 
fell back, and the electric light 
revealed to the keen eyes of the 
detective that the moustache was 
false. 

It was the train robber. 

Cummings, simply stopping a 
moment to buy a cigar, walked 
through the office, then crossed Lake 
on 'Dearborn Street, and walked to 
Randolph, closely followed by Chip. 

A Randolph Street car came along, 
and Jim sprang on the front plat- 
form, Chip jumping on the rear one. 
Passing through the car, he opened 
the front door and stood beside Cum- 
mings, who was puffing his cigar, his 
coat collar pulled up and his fur cap 
drawn down over his ears. 

Pulling a cigar from his pocket, 
Chip felt for some matches, but 
apparently not finding any, he asked : 

" I beg your pardon, but would 
you mind giving me some fire? " 

Cummings held out his lighted 
cigar, at the same time darting a 
searching look at his questioner, but 
in the handsome, well-dressed, almost 
dandified young man before him, he 
failed to recognise the uncouth, 



JIM CUMMINGS ARRESTED. 



in 



grimacing Scip of. Swanson's ranche. 
The pair rode along together, and 
after passing Halsted Street some 
distance, Chip saw that he was getting 
ready to jump off at the next cross 
street, so, as soon as the car reached 
the street, Chip stepped off and 
walked briskly towards Lake Street. 

Cummings rode to the other cross- 
ing and did the same, utterly with- 
out any suspicion whatever. 

Although Chip walked straight 
ahead, he kept his eye on the dark 
figure moving, parallel to his course 
on the other side, and saw it turn 
abruptly to the left and enter the alley. 

Quickening his steps, Chip hurried 
to the house in which the watch was 
kept, and bounding up the steps, to 
his delight found Sam in the room. 

" Cummings is over there," said 
Chip, excitedly. 

" Sure ? " 

"As certain as I am that I live." 

" Come on, then ! " And Sam ran 
down the steps, followed by Chip and 
the other two detectives. 

As they reached the foot of the 
stairs the door of the coal office 
opened and three men stepped out on 
the sidewalk. 



"The devil," said Chip, "that is 
more than I bargained for." 

The three men stood a moment 
conversing, then the detectives heard 
Cummings say : 

" I'll be back in an hour," as he 
turned east and walked away. 

The other two, Weaver and 
Haight, turned in the opposite direc- 
tion and sauntered slowly along. 

Turning to the two men who had 
been sent to relieve them, Chip 
said : 

"Follow those two, and arrest 
them if possible without any noise ; 
your warrant covers them." 

By this time Cummings was some 
little distance below them, strolling 
leisurely along, and at the next 
corner the detectives saw him enter 
a saloon. ' 

Crossing the street, their revolvers 
in their side coat-pockets ready for 
use, Sam and Chip entered the 
saloon. 

Cummings, without the false mous- 
tache, which he had either removed 
or lost (in fact, it dropped off as he 
entered the coalyard), had just ordered 
a drink as the detectives entered. 

Without a second's hesitation Chip 



112 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY, 



stepped up to him, and placing his 
hand on the train robber's shoulder, 
said quietly : 

" Fred Wittrock, alias Jim Cum- 
mings, I want you." 

Wittrock sprang back as though 
he had been shot, and glaring like an 
enraged lion, seemed about to rush 
upon the audacious detective. 

In a twinkling the cold barrels of 
two revolvers were levelled at his 
head, and, with the address and skill 
of a practised adept, Sam passed his 
twisted steel wire "come aldngs" 
around the outlaw's wrist, and Jim 
Cummings' career stopped short. 



Any attempt at escape was hopeless, 
and in silent surrender he held out 
his other hand and Chip snapped the 
handcuffs on him. 

Before the people in the saloon had 
recovered from their astonishment, 
the detectives had taken the desperate 
prisoner away, and finding a livery 
stable near, drove to the Pinkerton 
headquarters. Haight and Weaver 
had not gone a block before the two 
detectives arrested them without any 
struggle, so that within one short 
half hour the three principals of the 
Great Adams 1 Express robbery were 
placed behind the bars. 



"3 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



JIM CCMMINGS IN PINKERTON S SWEAT-BOX — HIS CONFESSION. 



All night long "Jim Cummings" 
walked the narrow limits of his room, 
still undaunted and fearless as of old. 
The gravity of his position only 
made him the more daring, and 
when the first beams of the morning 
broke through the barred window he 
had recovered his usual grit and 
nerve, and determined to die hard 
and game. Mr. Pinkerton, alone, 
came into the room just as the outlaw 
had finished the excellent breakfast 
which had been served him. Jim 
looked up, and holding out his hand, 
in a cheery voice said : 

" Good morning, Mr. Pinkerton." 
For a second Air. Pinkerton hardly 
knew what to say. He was prepared 
to encounter either a desperate or a 
sullen prisoner, and was somewhat 
taken back when he received such a 
cordial greeting. It was but a second, 



and fully alive to all the tricks and 
manoeuvres practised by arrested cri- 
minals, he was on the qui vive. 

"Good morning, Mr. ' Cummings.' 
I trust you have had a good break- 
fast ? " 

"Oh, fair." 

" You slept well ? " 

" Tip-top." 

" I trust you will be able to amuse 
yourself during the day." 

" I won't amuse you, that's certain." 

" You have been doing that for 
some time." 

" That's all right. Now, what am 
I here for ? " 

" Just so. What arc you here for ? " 

" You've got the wrong man, Mr. 
Pinkerton." 

" Indeed ! " 

"Just now you called me 'Mr. 
Cummings.'" 



U4 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



"I should perhaps have said Mr. 
Wittrock." » 

" What did you call me ' Cum- 
mings ' for, then ? " 

" As you christened yourself you 
ought to know." 

" I'm arrested, of course, now for 
what ? " 

" To tell the fact, Mr. Wittrock, it 
is because some time last October you 
played a little joke on the Adams 
Express Company, and they appreci- 
ated it so highly that they hired me 
to find you, so that they could tell 
you so." 

" You dare accuse me of committing 
that robbery ? " 

"That's about the size of it." 

"Why, man, I wasn't within five 
hundred miles of the place when it 
occurred." 

" Where were you ? " 

"I was in New Orleans." 

"Positive of that?" 

" I can prove it." 

"You can?" 

" Yes, I can. You go over to my 
coalyard at — West Lake Street, and 
ask my partner, Weaver. He will 
tell you where I was at that time." 

" Is he your partner ? " 



"Yes." 

" Strange, very strange. He said 
he bought you out last October." 

"You've been there, have you ?" 

" That is what he said." 

"He lies." 

'' Or you do." 

" You wouldn't dare say that out- 
side of this room." 

" Don't get excited, Mr. Wittrock. 
We have had enough bantering. 
You might as well make a clean 
breast of the whole affair, for we have 
a clear case against you." 

" I tell you I was at New Orleans 
at the time." 

" You were not. Listen to me, and 
I can prove you are a liar." 

Wittrock flushed, and he began to 
get angry, which was just what Mr. 
Pinkerton wanted, and glaring at his 
persecutor he folded his arms and 
settled defiantly back in his chair. 
Mr. Pinkerton quietly continued : 

" A week before the robbery was 
committed you and a man named 
Haight took a room at — Chestnut 
Street. On the twenty-third of 
October you sent a valise to Daniel 
Moriarity at Leavenworth, Kansas, 
and a letter instructing him to give 



je/Af CUMMINGS CONFESSES. 



"5 



its contents to Oscar Cook, of Kansas 
City. A few days after you com- 
mitted the robbery, and in a cave 
near Pacific, you, with^loriarity and 
Haight, divided the ill-gotten wealth. 
You then rowed down the river to St. 
Louis, or near there, and from thence 
went to Kansas City You were often 
seen playing faro at the White Ele- 
phant, and one night you knocked 
one of my men senseless when he had 
arrested Moriarity, and took him to 
old Nance, the widow. Still later, 
you, Cook, and Moriarity took refuge 
in Swanson's ranche in the Indian 
Territory, and after attempting to rob 
your host, which attempt was frus- 
trated by my men, you came, in some 
roundabout way, to Chicago, where 
you put up at the Commercial Hotel, 
disguised by a false moustache. Every 
evening you went to — West Lake 
Street, and last night you were 
arrested. Now, Mr. Wittrock, what 
have you to say ?" 

" That's a very pretty yarn ; but 
as I don't happen to be the man that 
did all that I don't see how it con- 
cerns me." 

" Look at that and tell me what 
you have to say," and Mr Pinkerton 



laid before him the sworn deposition 
of Daniel Moriarity, in which all the 
facts that Mr. Pinkerton had been 
relating were set forth. 

Wittrock did not show a trace of 
feeling other than amusement as he 
re"ad the long and legally worded 
document, and passing it back to Mr. 
Pinkerton with a gesture of disdain, 
he said : 

" So on the strength of that cock- 
and-bull story you mean to hold me 
for that robbery ? " 

"Partly so." 

"There isn't a word of truth in 
it. That man, Moriarity, is a noted 
liar." 

" Ah ! " said Mr. Pinkerton, quick- 
ly, " you know Moriarity ? " 

" That is — I mean — yes, I sort 
of know him," stammered Witt- 
rock, in confusion ; " I have heard of 
him." 

" You are in desperate straits, Mr. 
Wittrock," said the detective. " In 
such desperate straits that you are 
doing the worst possible thing — 
denying all that is proved true. We 
have you safe and secure, and enough 
evidence against you to send you to 
Jefferson City for a long term of 



n6 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



years. You can lighten your sen- 
tence by one thing." 

" You don't catch me that way. I 
am not to be taken in by soft words, 
and all the traps you set for me 
won't make me confess that I had 
anything to do with the robbery. 
You've arrested me without cause, 
and if there is any law in the land 
I'll make you suffer for it," and 
Wittrock walked excitedly around 
the room. 

Mr. Pinkerton did not reply to 
this, but touching a bell, told the 
man who opened the door to bring 
in the other prisoners. 

Wittrock had resumed his seat, 
his head bowed forward and eyes cast 
down, but hearing the door opening, 
he glanced up and saw Weaver and 
Haight, followed by two detectives, 
ushered into his room. 

Both of them looked discouraged 
and broken-spirited. The heart had 
been taken from them by their arrest, 
and Wittrock's boldness and defiant 
manner began to melt as he saw 
his faint-hearted accomplices. 

" You here, too," he exclaimed. 

"Looks like it, don't it," said 
Haight, with a grim smile. 



" You may as well own up, Fred," 
said Weaver, " they have the drop 
on us." 

" Coward ! " hissed Wittrock. 
Then turning suddenly to Mr. 
Pinkerton, he said : 

" That cur is right, you have the 
drop on us." 

" Then you confess you committed 
the robbery ? " 

" Yes," he answered, curtly. 

" Was Fotheringham in the ring, 
too ? " 

" Fotheringham hadn't a thing to ' 
do with it." 

" How came it, then, that we 
found some of the Adams express 
letter-heads in his trunk, and which 
were not the ones printed for the 
company ? " 

" Did you do that ? " 

"Yes; ten or twenty sheets." 

" He never got them from us. 
The first time I ever saw him was 
when I jumped on his car in St. 
Louis." 

Mr. Pinkerton looked at the frank, 
open face of the train robber, and 
wondered that such a man could 
have committed the crime for 
which he was now locked up in 



yiM CUMM1NGS CONFESSES. 



117 



the "Pinkerton strong box." His 
manner and tone of sincerity, when 
he declared Fotheringham innocent 
of any complicity with him or his 
companions, carried conviction with 
it. He believed himself that a 
blunder had been made,- and Fother- 
ingham was wrongfully accused. 

" I said, a short time ago," he 
continued, addressing Wittrock, 
"that you could lighten your sen- 
tence if you wanted to do so." 

" How ? " 

"Tell me where you have hid the 
money " 

Wittrock hesitated, and glanced at 
his companions. Perhaps he saw in 
their faces that if he didn't tell, they 
would. He was willing, however, to 
give them the same benefit accorded 
him, arid pointing to Weaver, he said : 

" Weaver knows where the money 
is planted in Chicago, and Cook has 
some hid around his shanty iri" 
Kansas City. I put some under the 
large tree, just east of the gate of the 
old graveyard at Leavenworth." 

A sign from Mr Pinkerton to one 
of the detectives, and taking Weaver 
with him, the man left the room. 

Shortly after, Mr. Pinkerton, with 



the remaining detectives, also took his 
leave, and the two express robbers 
were alone. 

The door had scarcely closed, when 
dropping his cool and calm demeanour, 
Wittrock sprang from his chair, and 
confronting Haight with flaming 
eyes, he whispered in terrible tones : 

" Moriarity turned informer ; he 
swore away our liberty, and all our 
work has been turned to naught by 
the cowardly traitor. Listen to me, 
Haight, listen well, and when you 
see the poltroon tell him that Jim 
Cummings swore he would cut his 
heart out. Aye ! I will do it, though 
he were guarded behind double bars. 
I'll search him out and tear the 
traitor heart from his breast and 
make him eat it, . by God — make 
him eat it." 

A gurgling sound and hissing 
gasps recalled the furious man to his 
senses, and he saw that in his frenzy 
of anger he had clutched his com- 
panion by the throat and was choking 
him purple in the face. 

A few gasps, and Haight had re- 
covered his breath, rubbing his throat 
ruefully, and edging away from his 
dangerous and excited companion. 



n8 



THE GREAT ADAMS EXPRESS ROBBERY. 



His passionate outburst over, Witt- 
rock regained his composure, and 
lighting a cigar, gave one to Haight, 
remarking in a light tone : 

" I beg your pardon, old man ; I 
didn't m;an to hurt you." 

" Next time don't take me for 
Moriarity," puffing the peace-offering. 

" Do you know whom I would 
like to see ? Those two chaps that 
arrested me." 

As if in answer to his call the door 
opened, and Sam, with Chip follow- 
ing, entered. 

Wittrock recognised them, and 
with a hearty " Good morning, 
gentlemen," motioned them to a 
seat, with as little ceremony as if the 
room were in his own house. 

" Good morning, Jim," said Chip ; 
' ' I'm sorry we had to pull you in 
last night." 

" It was a ground-hog case, eh ?" 

"You don't seem to recognise us," 
said Sam. 

" Yes, I do ; you gave me enough 
cause last night to remember you all 
my life." 

" Suah enough, Massa Cummins," 
broke in Chip, imitating Scip's 
voice. 



Wittrock gazed at the speaker, 
and in astonishment, cried : 

" Scip ! " 

" Suah as you bawn, honey, I's de 
same ole Scip." 

" And you ? " turning to Sam. 

" Doctor Skinner, at your service." 

" Then you're the two I have to 
thank for my being here." 

'•We helped the thing a little." 

As they were talking, Weaver re- 
turned with the detective, bringing 
several packages of money, still in the 
original wrappers, which Wittrock 
had taken from the safe of the ex- 
press car. 

The sight of the recovered plunder 
placed a quietus on the arrested men, 
who now saw that the last link in 
the chain had been forged, and felt 
the walls of the penitentiary looming 
up before them. 

Settling into a stubborn silence, 
they sullenly refused to utter another 
word, and maintained this position 
until they were placed on the train 
for St. Louis, where they were locked 
up to answer the indictments -which 
the grand jury had already found 
against them. 
* # # ■::■ * * 



JIM CUMMINGS CONFESSES. 



119 



Fotheringham, who had all this 
time laid in jail, still protested his 
innocence. He stated that the letter- 
heads found in his trunk he had taken 
from the general desk in the com- 
pany's office, and that the reason the 
signature of the Route Agent Bartlett 
was found on the paper, Avas due to the 
fact that he was about to write for a 
permit for a vacation Christmas, and 
simply practised writing the name. 



This explanation was received with 
smiles, but his friends came to the 
rescue, and proved that he was in the 
habit of writing names on every bit 
of paper which came to hand ; that 
this eccentricity was well known, and 
his explanation should be received 
with favour. The grand jury, how- 
ever, found an indictment against 
him, and he was held as an accomplice 
to the robbery. 



>«£.»*'«> 



120 



APPENDIX. 



When the now noted express car 
robbers, Wittroek, Haight and Weaver, 
were brought up for trial, they 
pleaded "guilty," and were sentenced 
to a term of years in the Missouri 
State penitentiary at Jefferson City. 
A tew days later the train carried 
them to that city, and as they passed 
the various places, Wittroek pointed 
out the gully in which was located 
the moonshiner's cave where the 
plunder was divided, and then, as the 
train rounded the curve, he depicted, 
in graphic language, the struggle 
between Moriarity and himself, which 
was only ended by the freight train 
bearing down on them. 

When the train arrived at Jeffer- 
son City the three prisoners were 
driven to the warden's office of the 
penitentiary, and, after going through 
the regular formalities, the striped 
suits were put on them, and they 
became convicts. 

Oscar Cook was sentenced to a 
term of years on the charge of being 
an accessory after the fact, but Mori- 



arity, in consideration of the valuable 
services he had rendered the State, was 
not prosecuted. 

The house of Nance, the widow, 
fortune-teller, and "fence," was broken 
up, and with it the rendezvous of one 
of the most daring bands of highway- 
men which had ever infested that 
section of the country. Nance escaped 
the clutches of the law and disap- 
peared from sight. 

The detective work in connection 
with this case was as skilful, daring, 
and successful as any that have made 
the detectives of the Paris world 
famous. 

Starting w'th the bit of torn express 
tag, and following, thread by thread, 
the broken bits of clues, which were 
discovered by the hawk eyes of the 
operatives, until the arrest of Cook, it 
was as pretty a piece of business as 
ever brought criminals to their just 
punishment. 

A most remarkable fact connected 
with the robbery and the subsequent 
detection of its participators, is that 



APPENDIX. 



tai 



from first to last not a single human 
life was taken. 

Unlike Jesse or Frank James, Red- 
nsy Burns, Frank Rande, or other 
noted outlaws, who always shot 
before a move was made, Jim Cum- 
mings pitted brute strength and brain 
power against brute strength and 
brain power. He doubtless would not 
have hesitated to take life if pushed 
to the last extremity, but he placed 
more reliance on his cunning, shrewd- 
ness, and ready brain than on the 
deadly bullet. 

Jesse James, on a fleet horse, a revol- 
ver in each hand, and surrounded by 
his band of horse thieves and cut- 
throats, was audacious and bold, and 
would not hesitate to take desperate 
chances, but it is doubtful if he would 
have quietly and with business-like 
foresight prepared for every emer- 
gency, forged a letter on a forged 
letter-head of an express company, 
gained access to the car, and, single- 
handed, attacked and bound a man 
nearly as strong as himself, and then 
leisurely helped himself to his booty. 

The writer is not holding Jim 
Cummings up in a laudatory 
spirit, or as an object to be envied 



and imitated, but as everything else 
has its degrees of comparison, so have 
the methods employed in committing 
robbery, and the address, audacity, 
skill, success, and intelligence dis- 
played by Jim Cummings in robbing 
the Adams Express Company of a 
cool $5 3,000, cannot help but excite 
a feeling akin to admiration. As 
this was his first attempt, it would 
take subsequent years to measure 
the height which he might attain as 
a highwayman. It may be that the 
modern Jack Sheppard had his career 
nipped in the bud by the Pinkerton 
Detective Agency. That " eye that 
never sleeps" must have winked pretty 
often, when it learned of the various 
and narrow escapes Jim Cummings 
had from its agents, and Mr. Pinker- 
ton confessed afterwards that he 
passed many anxious nights and days 
on account of Jim Cummings. The 
money was gathered together from 
the various sources designated by the 
robbers, and when counted was 
found to be almost the whole sum 
originally put in the safe. The"' 
robbery was committed in the latter 
part of October, and the early part of 
the following January found the 



122 



APPENDIX. 



principals wearing the convicts' 

stripes. 

* # # * # 

The foregoing narrative would be 
incomplete did it not relate the in- 
cidents which brought Swanson's 
ranche to a pile of ashes, and Swan- 
son himself to an untimely end. 

When Cummings and Moriarity, 
with Sam and Chip, the detectives, 
disguised as the doctor and Scip, his 
negro servant, dashed away from the 
ranche, carrying the greater part of 
his wealth, Swanson was lying, an 
unconscious man, on the floor of the 
large room. The blow which felled 
him to the ground had been given 
with the full force of Cummings' 
right arm, and partly overcome by 
the copious libations of which he had 
partaken previous to his short but 
decisive fight with the train robber, 
it was several hours before he regained 
his senses. His men had rushed to 
the pony herd at the first alarm, only 
to find a stampede had loosened all 
the horses, and they were helpless to 
pursue the robbers. 

Swanson's rage, when he fully 
realised that he had been robbed, was 
something terrible. He roamed the 



vicinity of the ranche armed to the 
heel, cursing and foaming at the 
mouth, pouring maledictions of the 
most blasphemous character upon the 
men who had repaid his hospitality 
with such a scurvy trick. 

When finally the ponies had been 
corralled, he vaulted on one, and, 
galloping with the speed of the wind, 
set out in pursuit of the robbers who 
ha,\ mulcted him of his wealth. All 
the cay he ranged the country, until 
his ho/se, completely exhausted, re- 
fused to move another step. His 
own excited passion had calmed 
down somewhat, so hobbling his 
horse, he threw himself on the open 
prairie and sank into a deep slumber. 

During his absence a strange pro- 
cession rode up to the ranche. 

A large band Of Cherokee Indians 
and half-breeds, headed by a chief of 
the tribe, loped up the trail, and, 
dismounting, asked for Swanson. 

The angry tones and flashing eyes 
of the red men portended a storm, 
and, suspicious of coming danger to 
the master of the ranche, a cowboy 
mounted his pony and galloped off to 
warn Swanson. 

For several months previous the 



APPENDIX. 



121 



Indians had been missing stock from 
their herds 'of cattle. Steers and 
yearlings had mysteriously disap- 
peared, even under the keen eyes and 
sharp ears of the Cherokees them- 
selves. All efforts to discover the 
thieves had proved fruitless, until, 
chagrined and mortified by their ill 
success, the Indians resolved to let 
nothing escape nor a stone unturned 
which would lead to the detection of 
the parties making away with their 
cattle. 

Relays of scouts were detaMed, and 
a few days previous to their appear- 
ance at Swanson's ranche the first 
trail had been found, which they 
followed with all the skill and 
cunning that have made the red men 
of America ' peculiarly famous. Day 
and night the pursuit had been 
followed, and it led them direct to 
Swanson's. 

He had long been suspected of such 
methods of procuring his stock, but 
so cunningly had he managed to 
cover his tracks that he had escaped 
being caught up to this time. 

His day of punishment had arrived, 
and his executioners were gathered 
around the ranche awaiting his return. 



The cowboy had failed to find him, 
and the early morning found Swan- 
son returning home. The Indians 
had posted scouts in all directions, 
and when one of them galloped in. 
conveying the intelligence that Swan- 
son was coming, the temporary camp 
was awakened, and with their 
blankets over their heads the Indians 
patiently waited for their victim. 

All unsuspicious of danger, he 
came at a hard gallop over the range, 
nor did he discover his visitors until 
he wheeled around the corner of the 
house and found himself in their midst. 

A dozen hands immediately grappled 
him, dragging him from the saddle, 
and pinioned his arms behind him. 
Not a word had been spoken ; their 
silence and his own guilty conscience 
told him that he had no mercy to 
hope for. As husband of a Cherokee 
squaw, he was looked on as a member 
of their tribe, and as such would be 
tried by their methods, found guilty 
or not guilty ; and if guilty, he knew 
he would be shot at once. 

His reckless, bold spirit asserted 
itself at this critical period, and 'hold- 
ing his head erect, he asked, speaking 

T 

the Cherokee tongue : 



124 



APPENDIX. 



" Am I a coyote, that my brother 
traps me in this way ? " 

The dignified chief, folding his 
arms across his breast, his face stern 
and forbidding, replied : 

" Coyote ! No, dog of a pale face. 
The coyote would yelp in mockery to 
hear you call yourself one." 

"That isn't answering my question, 
Eagle Claw. What I want to know 
is, why am I jumped on in this 
way ?" asked Swanson, his tone pacific 
and calm, and his manner free from 
anger, for he saw that it would re- 
quire a deal of diplomacy to get him 
out of the scrape. 

" You shall be answered, but not 
here," and the chief, Eagle Claw, plac- 
ing his curved hand to his mouth, 
emitted a shrill, piercing yell, which 
was repeated by the line of scouts, 
until the most remote vidette heard, 
and headed his horse to the ranche. 
The Indians in some parts of the 
territory are partly civilised and live 
in organised towns and villages, 
electing their head men from time to 
time. Others are wild and uncivi- 
lised, wandering from place to place, 
pitching their tepees of buffalo hide 
on the bank of some rippling stream, 



or, sequestered in some lovely valley, 
engage in the pursuit of game and in 
the care of their herds of ponies and 
cattle. 

It was to the latter class that Eagle 
Claw and his band belonged. Gaudy 
paint, vemillion and yellow, smeared 
their faces in all the fantastic designs 
which their grotesque imaginations 
could invent. The tanned buckskin 
leggings, fringed and beaded, were 
supported at the waist by a belt of 
leather embroidered and figured. A 
blanket thrown carelessly over the 
shoulder completed the costume, with 
the addition of mocassins made of 
raw hide. Their ponies were selected 
from the cream of their stock, and 
the gorgeous trappings of the saddles 
and harness made a most picturesque 
scene as the cavalcade filed over the 
plains. 

Riding between two stalwart speci- 
mens of the Cherokee tribe, Swanson 
was closely guarded. All the answer 
he could get for his indignant ques- 
tionings was a surly " Humph," or a 
sullen admonition to keep quiet. 
The chief led the party due south- 
west from Swanson's ranche, and all 
day long the sturdy ponies were kept 



APPENDIX. 



at the long, swinging lope which en- 
ables them to cover miles during a 
day. 

Late in the afternoon the chief, 
rising in his stirrups, gave a peculiar, 
vibrating yell, which was immediately 
taken up by his followers until the 
welkin rang with the penetrating 
sounds. 

Like a faint echo an answering yell 
came back, and soon the forms of 
horsemen, dashing over the range, 
could be discerned. 

Familiar with all the Indian cus- 
toms, Swanson recognised the yell. 
It told the camp that the scouting 
party had returned successful. 

A short canter and the entire band 
wheeled around th'e edge of a track of 
timber and came out upon the 
village, pitched on the banks of a 
stream of water, the tepees grouped 
in a circle around the chiefs wigwam, 
the blue smoke curling lazily through 
the aperture at the top, and the wel- 
come smell of cooking meats perme- 
ating the place. Swanson was given 
in charge of a guard and escorted to 
a vacant tepee, where he was firmly 
bound, hand and foot, and thrown 
upon a pile of fur robes. 



A large fire had been built near 
Eagle Claw's wigwam, and one by 
one the sub-chiefs, head-men, and old 
Indians of the tribe gravely stalked 
towards it and seated themselves in 
the circle. 

Rising from his place, Eagle Claw 
ordered the prisoner to be brought 
forward. 

As Swanson caught sight of the 
council fire, the stern faces surround- 
ing it, and the grave air of his 
captors, his guilty heart sank within 
him, and, trembling in every joint, 
he was hardly able to totter to the 
place assigned him. The Indians 
noted his condition with scornful 
eyes, and Eagle Claw, advancing from 
the rest, said : 

" How now ! does the coyote 
tremble because he is asked to join 
the council with his brethren ? " 

The mocking words brought Swan- 
son's pluck back again, and drawing 
himself to his full height, he an- 
swered : 

" You red devil ! Don't brother 
me. Drop that beating around the 
bush and out with the truth." 

" 'Tis well. A liar is a curse to his 
people. The Cherokees are men of 



126 



APPENDIX. 



truth and have but a single 
tongue." 

" The Cherokees are the biggest 
rascals in the territory, the meanest 
horse-thieves, and couldn't tell the 
truth to save their rascally necks 
from the halter," said Swanson. 

The Indian's eyes flashed ominously 
at these words, and raising his voice, 
he said : 

" My brother has a long tongue. 
It might be well if it were cut out ; 
but we know he is joking, for is he 
not a Cherokee himself?" 

" Not I. You can't make a mustang 
out of a broken-down broncho, and 
you can't make a white man out of 
an Indian." 

" But you took one of the fairest of 
our young maidens to your tepee, 
and " 

" Fairest young maiden ? I took 
the skinniest rack-a-bones in the 
tribe. The old hag ! She was too 
lazy to earn her salt; and was the 
biggest fool that ever wore calico." 

A terrible look of rage came into 
Eagle Claw's face, for Swanson had 
married his own sister, and such an 
insult was not to be brooked. But 
with all the powers of dissimulation 



which the Indian possesses, he forced 
a smile to his lips, and, blandly 
speaking, pointed to the thongs 
around Swanson's arms. 

"It is not well that our brother 
should be tied that way," and draw- 
ing his keen knife, he cut the thongs, 
and Swanson freed his arms. 

His arms free, all of Swanson's 
courage returned. Hastily glancing 
round the circle, he suddenly shot 
out his right arm. Reeling back- 
ward, Eagle Claw fell to the ground, 
and the Indians saw something pass 
them like the wind, straight for the 
pony herd. 

In an instant the camp was in 
commotion, hoarse yells came from 
tawny throats, and in swift pursuit 
of the flying Swanson the braves ran 
after him. 

He had the start, however, and 
agile and athletic to a remarkable 
degree, his hands pressed to his side, 
his mouth closed and saving his wind, 
he sped before the pursuing red men 
and gained the corral of the ponies. 

The Indians had not taken his 
knife from him, and hastily selecting 
his steed, the leather lariat was 
severed in a trice, and vaulting on 



APPENDIX. 



"? 



his back, Swanson made a dash for 
life into the darkness. The thunder- 
ing of hoofs told him. that the red 
devils were close after him. Turning 
abruptly to one side, he rode at right 
^angles to his former course, and sud- 
denly drawing up his horse he stood 
still. The sound of the chase neared 
him, and presently he heard them 
sweeping past, the darkness com- 
pletely shrouding himself and his 
horse from their keen eyes. 

Leaping to the ground, he placed 
his ear to the earth, and the faint 
throbbing of the horse-hoofs beating 
the ground grew fainter as his pur- 
suers rode further away. 

Mounting his horse again, he com- 
menced slowly and stealthily to 
circumnavigate the camp, and it 
wasn't until he had gained the 
opposite side that he ventured to put 
his horse to a gallop. 

He had never been in that section 
of the country before, but it did not 
matter, so long as he could put a good 
distance between himself and his cap- 
tors, in which direction he rode. 

The dawn of the next day found 
his horse loping along, Swanson 
keeping a sharp eye out for Indians. 



He was satisfied that he had at 
last eluded pursuit, and turning into 
a clump of timber he tied his horse 
with the remnants of the lariat and 
threw himself on the ground near it. 

All day long he slept, and as even- 
ing closed in he turned his horse 
from the timber and mounting a 
slight elevation near it, he gazed 
around for landmarks. To his sur- 
prise, he recognised the country as 
that near his own ranche, and feeling 
the pangs of hunger in a most dis- 
tressing degree, he urged his horse in 
the direction of the ranche. 

He had ridden several hours, and 
he knew that he must be somewhere 
near his place, when, rising before 
him, he discerned the house. 

Almost simultaneous with his dis- 
covery a wide sheet of flame burst 
from the roof, and, dismayed and 
astonished, Swanson checked his 
horse. 

A multitude of yells rent the air, 
and Swanson, turning his horse, 
again fled before the avenging Chero- 
kees, but a hissing whistling sound 
was heard, a long, writhing lariat 
shot out, and the noose, falling over 
Swanson's shoulders, drew together 



128 



APPENDIX. 



with the run, and, lifted completely 
from the saddle, Swanson was thrown 
senseless to the ground. A bucket- 
ful of water was dashed over his face, 
and recovering he saw the demon 
faces of Eagle Claw and his band 
surrounding him. 

" My brother was cold and we 
started a fire that he might get warm. 
He was lost and we made a light to 
guide him here. We love our 
brother Swanson. We would always 
have him with us," jeered the 
Indian. 

To this Swanson was incapable of 
replying. His senses were benumbed, 
and he hardly realised what was 
going on around him. Staggering to 



his feet he reeled to and fro like 
a drunken man. 

As he walked towards the fire, he 
was suddenly grasped from behind, 
and again were his arms pinioned. 
There was no escape for him this 
time. Forced to his knees, he was 
placed facing half a dozen of the best 
marksmen of the tribe. His shirt 
was torn open, exposing his hairy 
breast. A signal was given, and the 
sharp reports of the rifles rang out in 
tune with the crackling timbers of the 
house, and falling to his face, Swanson 
gave a convulsive struggle and died 
as his own roof fell in ; and a mass 
of blackened timbers marked the place 
where once stood Swanson's ranche. 



THE END. 



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